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Poor Road Causes Decline in Tourists’ in Sankhu

Nepalayatimes
Sankhu – Poor Road Condition Causes Decline in Tourists’ Influx in Sankhu. Sankhu, an ancient town in north-eastern part of Kathmandu, has witnessed decline in the number of tourists visiting here due to poor road condition of the Chahabil-Sankhu road section, tourist entrepreneurs concluded.

Poor Road Decline Tourists in Shankhu

The 11.46 km-road section which leads to various destinations such as Nagarkot, tea estate popularly known as ‘Mini Ilam’ at Bhotechaur in Sindhupalchowk, picnic spot Jarsingh Pauwa and Jhule among other tourist spots, long has been in a sorry state.

Paragliding pilot at Shankharapur, Ajay Chaulagain, said, “The road here is in a poor condition. Tourists are facing problems reaching here due to potholes, dust and mud on the road.”

The 11.46 km-road section which leads to various destinations such as Nagarkot, tea estate popularly known as ‘Mini Ilam’ at Bhotechaur in Sindhupalchowk, picnic spot Jarsingh Pauwa and Jhule among other tourist spots, long has been in a sorry state.
Paragliding pilot at Shankharapur, Ajay Chaulagain, said, “The road here is in a poor condition. Tourists are facing problems reaching here due to potholes, dust and mud on the road.”

According to him, tourists coming to Shankharapur for paragliding were also annoyed due to this. He argued, “Road is the prime reason for boosting or backing tourism. The tourists who want to enjoy the paragliding experience gazing mountains to the north opt for other alternative due to poor road here.”

The road section with existing eight metres width is undergoing expansion to 22 metres has been left unmanaged although the expansion ought to be completed by December last year. Sand and aggregates lie alongside the road. During the monsoon, the road section is muddy while it is full of dust in summer.

Moreover, the travel agencies have been sending their tourists who want to visit Jarsingh Pauwa for paragliding or sightseeing elsewhere. Hotel Heaven Hill’s Proprietor Ram Prasad Timalsina shared, “The vehicles used for tourists get stuck in the middle of the road due to pothole. Two-wheeler travel is perilous.”

He further bemoaned that in lack of timely maintenance of this road section, tourism sector has suffered a setback.
Hotelier Timalsina complained that frequent call attention to the road construction company and the government bodies on the issue have gone unheeded. The Bouddha-Jorpati-Sankhu road is in a very sorry condition for the last three years. The condition of the Jorpati-Sundarijal road is also very bad.

Both roads become muddy when it rains and dusty when it is sunny. The people living in settlements alongside the road and commuters are irritated by the thick dust that issues when vehicles ply on the road. So are the roadside vendors. People are bearing the brunt due to such condition of the road.

“One cannot see the road due to the dust when it is dry. The innumerable potholes and ditches in the road make driving risky and challenging. The condition gets worse when it rains,” explained Dev Narayan Chaulagain of Narayantar, Jorpati.

The Bouddhanath Stupa, a world heritage site is located close to this road. The religious site Sankhu also lies along this road.

Three years ago the government brought a plan of upgrading the Bouddha-Jorpati-Sankhu road into 22 meters wide four-lane road from Chabahil. The Kathmandu Valley Road Extension Project called for tenders in May 2015 for the construction of this road. It awarded the contract to four construction companies four months later. The project has given the responsibility of road expansion to an additional company after it seemed the four companies appointed earlier would not be able to complete the works on the road.

Project information officer Bishwa Bijaya Lal Shrestha said that the Supreme Court has recently issued an order to provide compensation to the people whose land has been the acquisition for the road expansion.
Shrestha clarified that the works have been delayed also due to the compensation process. “Road expansion works are progressing ahead smoothly except at places where there is the dispute over the land.

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