Centres of 368 local levels without access to road

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Kathmandu– Despite the government top priority to the road construction efforts, centers of 368 local levels, out of 753, have no access to road.

During a study conducted by the Local Infrastructure Department with a view to connecting centers of all local levels with blacktopped roads, it was found that centers of 368 local governments had no access to any sorts of roads Most of the centers deprived of road access are rural municipalities, according to Department's Director General Ramchandra Shrestha said.

According to him, the federal government is, in collaboration with the state and local governments, making plans for road construction and improvement targeting local levels.

"We target to connect the centers of all local levels with blacktopped roads by the coming four years and this project is estimated to cost around Rs 150 billion.

The study shows that 4,200 kilometers of road needs to be constructed and upgraded to meet the target. The most portion of this area falls under the jurisdiction of state governments and the project will be implemented in consultation with respective state governments. The Department is holding discussion with all state governments in regard with the implementation procedures.

It earlier held discussions with the state 2, Karnali state and Far West state and received positive response. It has been proposed that of the total cost, the Federal Government will bear 60 percent followed by 30 percent of the respective state government and 10 percent by the local governments.

Shrestha hinted the possibility of pursuing foreign assistance in the project which required a huge investment. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has seemed positive for the project, according to him.

As per the constitution, only the government has the authority to accept financial assistance with the donor agencies. He said consultations with the donor agencies could not be held right now for making decision as the work procedure still remains to be approved. "We can seek support from donor agencies on the basis of the work procedure once it is approved," he explained.

The federal government has prepared the plan for the road construction for maintaining uniformity of all roads, as the roads have to be constructed covering large area. According to Director General Shrestha, the federal government stepped in in this plan since the local levels lack adequate resources and as the province governments are also new. It is said the federal government itself made the plan as the donor agencies also could not be convinced with the province and local governments.

Previously, the Department had been constructing rural roads, water supply projects, bridges and other infrastructures through the District Development Committee (DDC).

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