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Dilapidated bridges in Mahottari along East-West Highway risk road mishaps

Gopal Prasad Baral, MAHOTTARI:- Almost all of the RCC bridges in Mahottari district along the East-West Highway are in a sorry state leading to the increasing risk of road mishaps.
The old bridges in lack of timely repair have turned so fragile and were posing risk to the passengers for any moment they could meet an accident.
Much to the dismay of the locals, the bridges built in recent years over Ratu River linking Mahottari district with Dhanusha district and bridge than Mahottari district with Sarlahi district and in radius of 18 kilometres of these bridges have developed big holes in them.
The 250-metre long and 10.9 metre wide bridge over Ratu River has worn out although it was brought into operation some two years ago.
Built by Kalika To The Rasuwa JB Company Kathmandu at the cost of over Rs 240 million, the newly built bridge has developed more than 100 holes-small and big ones in two years.
Chunamadi Pokharel, ward chair of Bardibas Municipality-1, shared that the holes in the bridge over Ratu River had raised question over the quality of the bridge and the performance of the construction company.
Besides this, bridges over Janga, Maraha, Tuteshwor, Khayarmara, Gadanta, Dungre Dholankhola and Banke rivers were also becoming frail and fragile over the years. Most of these bridges were recently built except for those over the Junga and Maraha river.
The blacktopping of the bridges was also loosened and peeled off, thereby developing holes in them.
The Road Division Office in the Mahottari district said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had also affected the repair of those bridges.
The life span of many of the bridges in the district was also coming to an end. Generally, bridges built in steel method last over 40 to 50 years.
Local also view the excessive movement of vehicles laden with heavy load of sand, stones and aggregates from the Chure and Mahabharat area had also weakened the bridges here.
The threshold for the load in the vehicles to ply the roads and bridges is 40 tonnes but the vehicles over 18 tonnes of load were unabatedly plying the bridges and road here, informed Road Division Office, Mahottari.
The Office has drawn the attention of the police administration towards such vehicular movement. RSS

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