Sunday 19th May 2024
Sunday 19th May 2024
गृहपृष्ठNepalBajhang by-election: Construction of Taklakot Road is common election agenda of candidates

Bajhang by-election: Construction of Taklakot Road is common election agenda of candidates

BAJHANG –  Construction of the Bajhang-Taklakot Road has become the common election agenda of candidates contesting in the Province Assembly (PA) by-election going to be held in Bajhang PA constituency 1 (1) this Saturday (April 27).

During the election campaigning, the candidates have promised to construct this roadway linking the district to China, if they win the election, describing the roadway as the ‘dream project’ that has been much talked-about since the last three and a half decades.

This project was also the major election agenda of Bhanubhakta Joshi, the common candidate of the Left-Democratic Alliance and the CPN (UML) candidate Ain Mahar in the last election to the Member of House of Representatives.

Construction of the Bajhang-Taklakot Road was also the main election agenda of Nepali Congress candidate, the late Prithvi Bahadur Singh, UML’s Aafilal Okheda, Maoist Centre’s Bhim Bhandari in the last PA Member election.

This road project has also featured as the main election agenda of the incumbent Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Bhanubhakta Joshi and Nepali Congress central member Arjun Jung Bahadur Singh since the general election of 1992. The Chainpur-Taklakot road is the election agenda of both Singh and Joshi who have contested in the election five times.

Although China linked Taklakot by road a decade back, what the people of Bajhang have got is only assurances. “Actual works on the construction of the road not taking place for long and the project only being made an election slogan means keeping the people in confusion,” said Manbir Bohara, the Chairperson of Saipal rural municipality, expressing his dismay.

“It has been 32-33 years since we have been hearing that the Taklakot Road would be built. So far, the road has been constructed only up to Rupatola and it has not progressed even an inch from there. All the political parties and their candidates have only been touting it as their election plank,” he added.

According to him, the Saipal rural municipality is constructing the road from Talkot via Kuwa through its own resources. “The rural municipality does not have adequate budget, but we are making efforts to construct the road first up to the rural municipality and then up to Taklakot as far as is permitted by the local government’s limited budget,” he added.

As he said, not much work has been done regarding construction of the Taklakot Road project requiring investment of millions of rupees. “All the parties and their candidates give assurances to the voters to construct the road in course of electioneering for the House of Representatives and Province Assembly elections, but they forget it after the elections,” Bohara, the rural municipality chairperson said.

Rajesh Karki, a voter of Khaptad Chhanna rural municipality-5, said construction of the Taklakot Road has featured as the common election agenda of the candidates in every election held since 1992.

“Although the candidates have changed in the elections in Bajhang, the agenda has not changed. Parties have been making the Taklakot Road project as their main election agenda for political mileage,” he said.
According to him, in every election the parties and candidates have been giving assurances to voters, saying construction of this road project would benefit the people of Bajhang as it would expand the market for various forest-based products and goods produced in the district and thereby expand the economic opportunities.

“However, the construction of the road is moving ahead at snail pace. Every political party is saying that they will manage budget for the construction of this road and giving assurances of increasing the budget for this project, but only to forget it once the election is over,” he added.

Taklakot road has now become the agenda of all candidates for the by-election to the House of Representatives taking place in Bajhang district on April 27. Nepali Congress candidate Abhishek Bahadur Singh shared his plan of expanding Chainpur-Taklakot road expansion while CPN (UML) candidate Daman Bhandari said he would take initiative to expand Chainpur-Taklakot road up to China border through tunnel route.

Similarly, a candidate of CPN (Unified Socialist), Dil Bahadur Singh, put forth his agenda of constructing and upgrading Taklakot road to pave ways for the economic prosperity of the country while Deepak Bahadur Khadka of Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch has the election agenda of constructing Chainpur-Taklakot road with the support of Chinese government.

The election commitment of CPN (Maoist Centre)’s candidate, Janak Bahadur Budha, is to take initiatives to incorporate Chainpur-Taklakot (Urai) road as national pride project. Likewise, brining Chainpur-Taklakot road into operation during his term is the agenda of Rastriya Prajatantra Party’s candidate Kishor Khadka.

In this way, all candidates in Bajhang district have given priority to Taklakot road at the top priority. The construction activities of the road have moved at snail pace till three decades. China has already constructed road up to Thado Dhunga near Urai Bhanjyang.

Karki, also an engineer, said the Nepali side has yet to construct 63-kilometer road to reach Urai which is 103 kilometer from Chainpur. Two construction companies are carrying out construction of the road. The physical progress of the road was not satisfactory, according to the Seti Highway (North Section) Chainpur-Taklakot road project.

Lumbini and Rajendra Construction Service had got responsibility to widen around 18-kilometer Chainpur-Ruwatola road in 2073 BS, they have not yet completed the work.

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