Fix potholes in 15 days, PM tells officials

Kathmandu, July 16

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today directed authorities concerned to fill potholes and improve the condition of roads in Kathmandu within 15 days.

The prime minister summoned ministers, secretaries and heads of departments to his office and issued the instruction. “I want to see all potholes filled and the condition of roads improved within 15 days,” the prime minsiter’s Press Coordinator Govinda Pariyar quoted Deuba as telling officials.

The prime minister’s instruction comes after an 11-year schoolgirl Binita Phuyal drowned in a pit at Nepaltar on Friday afternoon.

Another school girl Satya Sapkota had also fallen into a pit in Samakhushi, but was rescued by the locals.

“The roads of Kathmandu look like ponds after heavy rain and schoolchildren are falling into them. It is embarrassing to see this state of the capital,” Pariyar quoted Deuba as telling officials.

Expressing serious concern about the issue, the prime minister directed concerned officials to personally visit the sites where roads have been dug up and do the needful. Deuba also assured the officials that the Cabinet would allocate additional budget for improving the condition of roads, if needed.

PM also directed Nepal Telecom, Nepal Electricity Authority and Department of Roads to work in coordination with one another.

“Why is it that three different authorities dig up roads separately at the same place?” Pariyar quoted Deuba as telling government officials.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Federal Affairs and Local Development Bijay Kumar Ghachhadar, Minister for Urban Development Prabhu Sah, Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishor Chhetri and secretaries of ministries of finance; physical infrastructure and transport; energy; water supply and sanitation; and chiefs of Nepal Telecom and Nepal Electricity authority were present in the meeting.

Spokesperson for the Department of Roads Daya Kant Jha said lack of coordination among authorities had resulted in the sorry condition of roads in the city. “Most of the potholes in Kathmandu are on roads that are being expanded or places where roads have been dug up for laying water pipelines,” he said. He also said that in some areas slow pace of work by contractors was also creating problems.

“From Kalanki to Naghdhunga, we have halted work in 39 spots due to the Supreme Court’s stay order,” he said, adding that the budget provided by the government was not sufficient to fill potholes in Kathmandu.

Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Devendra Karki said his ministry was preparing a policy to carry out integrated construction work in cities.

Source: The Himalayan Times