PANCHTHAR, May 25: Under the government´s ambitious ´national pride projects´ the mid-hill highway in the eastern part of the country has now reached the Sikkim border. A track from Chyangthapu of Panchthar district in eastern Nepal linking up with Chiyabhanjhyang on the Sikkim border was completed recently.
With the completion of the new track the distance from Myanglung, Terathum to Chiyabhanjhyang, Sikkim is now only 200 km. People can now travel to and fro by bus between the two sides.
“The track from Chyangthapu, Panchthar of eastern Nepal has been linked to Chiyabhanjhyang in Sikkim. It will benefit travelers from both Panchthar and Tehrathum headed for Sikkim,” said Shree Jabegu, an engineer involved in the project. However, he cautioned that the track might not yet be of much use during the rainy season. “Only Land Rovers might be able to negotiate the road on rainy days,” he added.
According to Jabegu, the government is working to upgrade the road soon. “There is a plan to widen the track and construct retaining walls on either side. The work is already in progress,” Jagebu said. Similarly, he informed that work on construction of five bridges in the Fidim to Chiyabhanjhyag section is also ongoing. “As there are no big rivers in this section, we hope the bridges will be completed soon,” he said.
Jagebu further informed that a bridge under construction on the Myaglung - Fidim section is about to be completed while work on another two bridges in the same section has just begun. “The main work for a bridge at the Tamor river is yet to be carried out. Soon a bridge will be erected there also,” he said.
According to him, it was relatively easy to carry on work in the eastern region as the issue of compensation for land did not turn out to be crucial. “In other parts of the country, the problem of compensation obstructs road development. However, we face relatively little problem here. Only those who lost their houses have claimed compensation; otherwise, there was huge support from the locals,” Jagebu said.
The government had allocated Rs 82 million for the construction of the eastern section of the mid-hill highway, which has been divided into three different parts.