By Govinda Sharma,Banke, May 26: In Lumbini Province, the construction of 17 bridges at an estimated cost of around Rs. 5.5 billion is underway. According to the Nepalgunj-based Bridge Branch under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, three of the multi-year projects had been completed, and the other nine are close to completion.
According to engineer Lila Bahadur Bhandari, chief of the bridge-related projects at the branch, the bridges constructed under the Bridge Sector must have a minimum length of at least 100 metres.
Bhandari added, "Since the budget will decrease from next year, it will be difficult to complete the construction on time. After the construction of these bridges, the responsibility for their maintenance will be of the contractor for the next five years."
The construction of the bridge under the Design and Build model falls under the jurisdiction of the Bridge Sector.
According to authorities, construction of the Machhebas-Dhampur Bridge over the Rapti River, located in Banke, and Bela-Banghusari bridges over the Karnali and Rapti Rivers of Kuhine and Dang respectively has been completed.
They also informed that the physical progress of the bridge over Mankhola in Bardiya district has reached the final stage.
Likewise, two bridges each are being constructed in Kapilvastu, Arghakhanchi, Salyan, Rupandehi and West Nawalparasi districts.
Similarly, three bridges are under construction in Dang and one in Surkhet district.
Banke demands two bridges
Krishna K.C. (Namuna), the elected member of the Lumbini Provincial Assembly from Banke-1, has requested a budget for the construction of two bridges and seven roads in the marginalised and underdeveloped Rapti-Sonari Rural Municipality.
He informed that these plans were requested after meeting the Director General of the Department of Roads Shusheel Babu Dhakal, Deputy Director General of the Road Department’s Bridge Division Nareshman Shakya and Chief District Engineer Krishnaraj Adhikari who visited Nepalgunj a few days ago.
According to our Banke correspondent Siraj Khan, KC has demanded a budget for a 450-metre-long bridge over the Muguwa River in Ward No. 2 and a concrete bridge over the Rapti River in Ward No. 1.
KC has also demanded enough budget to upgrade and repair seven roads at the local level.