It is presently planned to upgrade the Beni-Jomsom-Korala road stretch, which is considered to be the lifeline of Gandaki Province. The new design will include a 300-metre tunnel, which will be implemented as part of the work. The project is scheduled to be completed by January 2021, although delays are inevitable, according to Jagat Prajapati, project manager for the road project.
According to Prajapati, the Covid-19 epidemic, as well as other technical challenges along the landslide-prone road stretch, have already caused delays in the construction process. According to him, “we are currently investigating the feasibility of digging a tunnel in the Bhirkate area because the original design for the Mahabhir-Timmure stretch is no longer feasible due to geographical constraints.”
Despite the challenging terrain, he claims that the road development at Kaprebhir will go as scheduled. “We will be utilizing explosives to widen the road,” says the crew leader. “There will only be a little alteration in the overall design,” he continued.
According to Prajapati, the construction of a road in the Bhirkate area is nearly impossible due to the presence of a rocky cliff in the pathway. Bhirkate is located on the banks of the Kaligandaki River in the Andha Galchhi [gorge] region.
The design of the 18-kilometer-long Mahabhir-Timmure segment and the 28-kilometer-long Kaprebhir-Bandarjungbhir section of the Beni-Jomsom-Korala road project is expected to alter.
The construction and upgrading work on the 186-kilometer Beni-Jomsom-Korala route began around four years ago and is expected to be completed in 2015. A total of 110 kilometers of construction, gravelling, and blacktopping work has been completed on the Jomsom-Korala part of this project. The upgrading work along the Beni-Jomsom line, on the other hand, remains unfinished.
The 76-kilometer Beni-Jomsom length was divided into four pieces, and the work was contracted out in accordance with these divisions. However, due to a variety of issues, including Covid-19, landslides, and steep terrain, construction progress has been slowed.
It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of the construction has been finished along the Galeshwar-Tatopani portion and the second part of Tatopani-Ghansa section, according to Prajapati. Similarly, 85 percent of road improvement work has been finished along the Ghansa-Lete segment, and 65 percent of work has been done along the Lete-Jomsom section.