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After the agreement, the road expansion work will continue

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NAWALPUR: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2021 – The Butwal-Narayangadh road extension project, which is a project of national pride, has been resumed. The road expansion work, which had been halted for 12 days due to labor agitation, was resumed on Tuesday after reaching an agreement with the construction company.

The workers had stopped work after a scuffle broke out between the two sides over the theft and sale of oil and kerosene. While the Butwal-Narayangadh road was being widened, the contractor had fired the workers for stealing oil and soil. After the workers were fired, the workers did not go to work saying that the construction side had called them for discussion and beaten them.

The project has stated that the work has been started from Tuesday with the agreement of both the parties on the issue of beating. “It has been agreed that both the workers and the contractor will not be beaten from now on,” said Krishna Acharya, information officer of the project. “The police have agreed to investigate the theft of construction materials.” Acharya said that an agreement was reached after discussions with both the parties.

“People on both sides were injured in the double beating,” Acharya said. “They have been saying they are right and the other side is wrong, but we have returned to work after reaching an agreement.” According to Acharya, the road expansion work has been agreed upon as the workers need work and the contractor has to complete the work of the project as soon as possible. Acharya said that the materials used in the project should not be stolen.

“Police have launched an investigation into the theft,” Acharya said. “It has also been agreed to take legal action against those found guilty during the investigation.” Around 400 workers had been working on road widening at various places in Section A of the project. Workers have stopped work on the road expansion project for the second time. Earlier, three months ago, the road construction work was affected when the workers went on strike saying that the contractor company had not acted in accordance with the labor law. Earlier, the work, which was halted due to the labor movement, was resumed after a week. Due to various obstacles, the work of widening the road has not been able to pick up speed.

Ramesh Kumar Dishti, chief of the Butwal-Narayangadh road project, said that only four percent of the physical progress has been seen two years after the project started. According to Drishti, it is a challenge to complete the remaining 96 percent of the project within the next 18 months. He said that even if the work could be extended for a few more months due to the impact of Kovid, that time would not be enough to complete the construction.

The two-lane east-west highway, inaugurated by the then King Mahendra on April 20, 2019 BS, is being widened to four lanes. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone of the road expansion project on March 25, 2075 BS so that the expansion work would be completed in 42 months. Out of 115 km road of Butwal-Narayangadh section, 65 km road of Gaindakot-Daunne section was considered as section ‘A’ and the rest of the road from Daunne to Butwal was considered as section ‘B’. The construction of both the sections has been entrusted to China State Engineering Company, a Chinese construction company, through a global tender.

The cost of Butwal-Narayangadh road section expansion is Rs. 16.99 billion. The road expansion work is being carried out with 85 percent loan assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). After the road expansion, in addition to four lanes, six / six meter service lanes will be constructed in urban areas and roads will be expanded to three lanes in Daunne area. -RSS

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