Dozens of suspension bridges in risky state

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BY PREM RAJ SIMKHADA,Kalikot, July 11The condition of 22 suspension bridges in Kalikot district is found to be very risky. The bridges built over various rivers and streams in different local levels of the district have been found to be in a dangerous state. 

The Regil bridge over the Karnali River has holes due to missing nuts and the Pantadi bridge over the Tila River, as well as the Raraghati bridge, are also in unsafe condition. 

Locals are worried about potential human and livestock casualties due to the dilapidated condition of these frequently used bridges. Surya Bahadur Shahi of Regil said that it had become difficult to cross the bridge due to its risky state.

Among the recorded dilapidated bridges, the highest number is found in Palata Rural Municipality. The bridges over Tiwagadi Khola, Dursi Khola, Tus Bridge in Ukhadi and Anta Bridge in Ghatachaur are in a deteriorated condition. 

Similarly, bridges at Santi Gad and over Kauri Khola in Sani Triveni Rural Municipality, the Bheri Khola bridge in Narharinath Rural Municipality, the Regil and Raraghati bridge in Khandachakra Municipality and the recently constructed Tiseli bridge in Shubhakalika are also at disrepair.

In Goljesangu of Tilagufa Municipality, Katanpur and Bhatadi bridge, Pantadi and Padamghat bridge in Mahawai and other bridges in the district are at high risk. 

Sub-engineer Kambar Bahadur Bam, working in Khandachakra Municipality, said that the condition of the 22 bridges in the district was very critical and attention should be paid to timely repair and reconstruction. Engineer Bam, who has been working with the District Development Committee for a long time, said that despite repeated analyses of the dilapidated bridges, stakeholders had shown little interest in their repair and reconstruction.

He said that it was their responsibility to report the condition. However, the provision of budget and the initiation of construction lie with the Bridge Division and relevant ministries, as well as the local governments. 

Bam said that, along with the 22 bridges in Kalikot, there were statistics showing that 145 bridges in the former Karnali Zone were in disrepair.

He said, “If the dilapidated bridges are not repaired and reconstructed, major accidents could take place. If stakeholders do not take an interest in the bridges, incidents similar to the one where 14 mules got stuck on the suspension bridge at Chaltida on Achham-Dailekh border could repeat.” 

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