Kathmandu: Construction of the Hulaki Road–the Postal Highway–has not completed even after six years of deadline. The construction of 62 kilometers section of the highway from Dokebazaar to Bedkot of Kanchanpur district should have been over in 30 months had the construction works moved ahead smoothly. The contract for the highway construction was signed in March 2017.
Twenty-six kilometers of the section of the highway in Kanchanpur district remain to be blacktopped. Engineer at the Hulaki Highway Project Office, Deepak Sunar admitted that there has been delay in the construction of the highway. “The delay was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and taking approval from the National Park Office. The construction is not complete yet even after extending the deadline for five times,” he said.
Construction of 62 kilometers of the Hulaki Road was begun after awarding the contract in three phases. The first phase included the 20 kilometers road construction from Dokebazaar to Belauri. Ninety percent works have been completed in this section. However, the construction remains incomplete in the remaining two sections. The Sharma-Rajendra JV had been awarded the contract for construction of the road in the first package at a cost of Rs 364.7 million. The estimated cost for construction of the 20 kilometers road from Belauri to Beldandi under the second package is Rs 414.1 million. Only nine kilometers of the road in this section has been blacktopped so far, Sunar said.
The construction has halted at Chui area on this section due to the obstruction from the Indian side. The Indian security bodies have obstructed blacktopping the road in this location claiming the road lies within the Indian territory. The Babahansa Siddhisai JV, the construction company responsible for carrying out the construction under the second package, has hardly completed 50 percent of the work.
Similarly, only eight and half kilometers of the 22-kilometre section of the highway from Beldandi to Daiji has been blacktopped under the third package in a span of six years. “The deadline for completing the works under the second and third package has been extended till mid-July this year. Only 36 kilometers of the highway has been asphalted in six years since the deadline was last extended,” Sunar lamented.
The local municipalities through which the road passes have been exerting pressure for the timely completion of the construction works.