Karnali Corridor sans bridges


By Rajan Rawat ,Humla, June 3: The lack of bridges over many rivers and rivulets along the Karnali Corridor, especially on the route from Pili in Bajura district to Paima in Humla district, has severely impacted transportation services in the region. Vehicles have to cross the rivers braving the powerful water current and risking the life of the commuters.

Upendra Jaisi, who drives a Bolero jeep from Surkhet to Salisalla in Humla, shared his harrowing experience of driving over the treacherous Pili River without a bridge. 

The main road of the Karnali Corridor lacks essential bridge infrastructure, leaving vehicles with no choice but to forge through the risky rivers. Unfortunately, there have been no visible efforts or preparations to construct either temporary or concrete bridges over the rivers to facilitate vehicular movements, said Jaisi. 

He highlighted the difficulties faced by smaller vehicles, especially during the rainy season when crossing the Pili River becomes nearly impossible. 

Recounting an incident, he described how his jeep submerged in the river water due to the rising flow, leaving him with no option but to cross the river risking his own life. 

Upon discovering a leak in the vehicle, he managed to guide the passengers to go across using a suspension bridge, he shared. 

The adverse conditions prevailing during the monsoon restrict the operation of small vehicles, as only heavy vehicles and buses can traverse the river, he added.

Throughout the season, smaller vehicles remain off the road entirely, compounding the challenges faced by commuters. 

Similarly, in Tanjakot Rural Municipality-5 of Humla district, the vehicles are forced to cross the Paima River through water, which experiences a surge in water flow during the monsoon, resulting in frequent disruptions to traffic movements.

Despite the Hilsa Simkot Road Project's aspirations to address river crossings along the Karnali Corridor, bridge construction is yet to commence, Jaisi said. 

Although the Hilsa Simkot Road Project looks after the road section, works to construct concrete or even a Bailey bridge have not begun. 

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