Thori locals argue over highway alignment

- SHANKAR ACHARYA, PARSA

Jun 20, 2019-

Locals of Thori Rural Municipality are divided over the alignment of the under-construction Postal Highway.

Residents of wards 1 and 2 want the road to be built as per the detailed project report and current work plan. They submitted a petition with 650 signatures to the District Administration Office on Tuesday to press their demand.

Earlier, around 253 locals from the Bhagwan Nagar area in ward 1 had filed an application at the District Administration Office to realign the road.

Calling the demand of Bhagwan Nagar residents unlawful, the petitioners have urged authorities to dismiss their appeal and build the highway according to the existing design. If the highway is built as per the existing layout, it will help to control the Thute River which poses a threat to human settlements, said local Chiranjibi Sapkota.

“We will not let authorities make any changes to the current alignment,” said Sapkota. “Some residents of Bhagwan Nagar have pressurised the officials to change the alignment so that the highway passes by their land to push up real estate prices. Their demands are unlawful.”

A joint venture of Kalika and Baniya Construction has executed the track opening work from zero point up to a distance of 30 km at Chautara of Thori.

The stretch passing through wards 3, 4 and 5 and extending to the Thute River is ready to be blacktopped. Track opening work has been completed in wards 1 and 2. Locals have also urged authorities to put pressure on the contractor to expedite the pace of work.

When asked about the dispute over the alignment of the highway, Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhattarai said, “Locals have asked that the road be built as per the current plan and authorities have not made any changes to the alignment. So there is no need to speak on the issue.”

According to Bhattarai, he wants to grill the contractor over delays in the construction of the road.

Published: 20-06-2019 10:15

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