Extra lane being mooted to ease traffic bottleneck at Jadibuti
Sanchita Ghimire, KATHMANDU:The government is looking for an alternative to putting an end to the traffic jam that is a daily phenomenon on the Koteshwar-Jadibuti section of the Araniko highway.
It is said the government plans to extend the road on both to its right and left to build extra lanes as an alternative to address the problem of traffic jam on this section. The government also plans to construct an underpass or flyover at this section as the long-term solution to this problem. It has already requested Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for this.
The plan is to add three to four lanes on this section of the highway by expanding the width of the road.
Spokesperson at the Department of Roads, Shivahari Sapkota said the plan is to construct one more lane towards the north side of the road while it would be expanded up to two or three lanes to its south side for the time-being.
According to him, the Department has its own land to the northern side of the road for construction of the land. It will only have to shift the pedestrian’s lane and drain for this purpose. However, to expand the lane on the southern side of the road, the Department will have to request to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for providing land for the construction of the additional lanes.
Sapkota said the land belonging to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal could be used to expand the road to the southern side, in coordination with the Ministry.
There is a huge problem of traffic bottleneck occurring at Koteshwar-Jadibuti junction almost daily, which holds up traffic for hours causing delay to commuters.
The government’s plan looks feasible but the airport’s lighting system might come as a hurdle in southward expansion of the road. Some structures of the airport lighting system have to be removed for this.
The Department plans to open the track of extra lanes on the road section and operate it by May. Construction of one extra lane on both sides of the road in this section will greatly ease the traffic movement, Sapkota believes.
“We are discussing as to how many more lanes can be constructed to the south of the road section without disturbing the airport’s operation,” he said.
JICA has already conducted a pre-feasibility study of the Koteshwar-Jadibuti road section for the construction of the extra lanes before this. According to Sapkota, construction of extra lanes on this section of the road is only a temporary measure to ease the traffic jam problem but construction of an under-pass is the only alternative for the long-term.
As shared by Arjun Jung Thapa, the chief of the Department of Roads, Development Coordination Division, the JICA study has suggested construction of an underpass or a fly-over on the main road itself or in the area belonging to the airport.
“It is found that in many countries there is airport runway on the surface and an underpass below. Vehicular movement would not be disturbed if the underpass or fly-over is not constructed on the main road,” Thapa suggested. RSS