14-20 July 2017 #867

Roadblock

The Mugling Highway is an example of poor governance and lack of accountability of those in high office

Shiva khanal
FRAGILE MOUNTAIN: The Mugling Highway above the Trisuli River was blocked for 19 hours by this landslip at Char Kilo on Wednesday evening, creating a monstrous traffic jam.

In 2014-15, the Mugling-Narayangad Highway claimed 19 lives. This year, 99 people have already been killed on this 36km section of the road.

The much-delayed road-widening has disturbed slopes weakened by the earthquake and rains. When it was finished in 1982, drivers heading east from Kathmandu preferred to take this 200km detour to avoid existing narrow mountain roads. The highway became Kathmandu’s main artery and it got congested.

Even after widening, the road will be beset by rockfalls for a few more years and not able to handle future growth in traffic. Alternatives are sorely needed, and those will not be fully operational for a while. All three roads to Hetauda from Kathmandu need upgrading and widening. The Army is going to take three more years to finish the fast-track to Nijgad, and the BP Highway is too narrow for buses and trucks.

It speaks of the lack of vision, planning and implementation by successive governments in Kathmandu that a faster and more efficient transport corridor to the plains has not materialised 50 years after talking about it.

Like everything else in Nepal, the Mugling Highway is an example of poor governance and lack of accountability of those in high office. It is political failure that keeps Nepal stuck.

Read also:

'Unblocking an artery ', Sanjeev Sharma

Highways of death, Santa Gaha Magar

Highways of death, Sunir Pandey

Nepal's highways of death, Sunir Pandey

Road to hell, Ashutosh Tiwari

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