Surkhet. The discussion about the construction of the shortest and easiest tri-national road network connecting India-Nepal-China (Tibet) has started again. After the government did not pay attention to the construction of a tri-national road network connecting Tibet through Tekunia-Katarnia Ghat, which is important to the prosperity of Western Nepal, passing through Rajapur in Bardia-Chisapani in Kailali-Gutu in Surkhet- Mangalsen in Achham-Bajura-Humla, the discussion has started again in the form of pressure from the local level.
“If a 4 km road is built in Gutu of Choukune Rural Municipality of Surkhet, it will be connected to Mangalsen in Achham,” Tilakram Adhikari, a social worker of Panchapuri municipality said, “This road will be connected to China’s Tibet via Mangalsen-Bajura-Hilsa.” He said that it is a short distance. For decades, the local people have been demanding the expansion of the road between Chisapani in Kailali – Gutuu in Surkhet – Mangalsen in Achham – Hilsa in Bajura, but the work has been stopped due to the non-opening of the 4 km road towards Surkhet.
“Achham road network is still connected with Bajura,” he said, “The road from Surkhet passes through Achham to Bajura and Humla and connects to Tibet.” He demanded that not only the local people but also the Center should look at this road with importance. “The road has been extended to Chisapani in Kailali and Ghatgaon-Gutu in Surkhet,” he said. He said that the district can also be connected.
“Kailali-Surkhet-Achham-Bajura-Humla road connects three countries along with religious faith,” said Mahayogi Siddhababa, “Tourists who come to Mansarovar can travel to Dailekh, Pyuthan’s Swargadwari-Gaumukhi along with Bheri-Karnali yafting to Muktinath.” He suggested that the state government seek help from the central government for the construction. He asserted that if the Karnali state government promotes the tri-national Chisapani-Gutu-Mangalsen fast track, which is considered very important from a strategic and commercial point of view, it will benefit Karnali more than Far West.
Locals say that even though the central government gave priority to the construction of fast track for a few years before federalism, the area is being overshadowed due to lack of strong people’s representatives. Since the government has been neglecting road construction for three years, the tank is yet to be opened in Surkhet Khand. Now the main challenge is to open the tank from Choukune’s Gutu to Janlaghat. Along with that, all that remains is to connect the road network directly to Mangalsen in Achham by building a motor bridge over Kanali river in Janlaghat.
Lakshmi Bahadur Bayak, a social worker from Choukune, said that the dream of a tri-national road network will soon be realized when the fast track is built to include the Karnali corridor as well. He said that it would be better to give priority to the tunnel route to avoid the winding, risky and time-consuming route. Locals are demanding that the construction of the Chisapani-Gutu-Mangalsen fast track should be accelerated according to the concept of commercial, social and political inclusive development to connect the north-south border road from Terai to Himal. After the construction of the fast track, more than 3 million people of the five districts of Achham, Kailali Bajura, Doti and Karnali will benefit.
Three-mouthed bridge at Dobhan
Construction of a three-way suspension bridge on the Bheri-Karnali River Dobhan has been progressed. After Mahayogi Siddha Baba started developing it as Shiv Shakti Dham to encourage spiritual and religious tourism in Palaite of Panchapuri, the construction of a three-way suspension bridge connecting the holy place Bheri-Karnali Dobhan in Surkhet-Ghatgaon in Kuine-Mohanyal in Kailali has been started.
People’s representatives have emphasized on the infrastructure to develop the once famous Hataru route in West Nepal, ‘Janglaghat in Surkhet, Gutu, Jamu, Tatapani, Kuine in Kailali, Chisapani, Katase, and Rajapur in Bardia’ as a religious tourism destination. Mahayogi Siddha Baba has encouraged the local people to connect the various dimensions of tourism from infrastructure construction to the construction of a bridge over the river to make the shortest distance to connect the Terai with the mountains.
The Jangalghat-Gutu-Tatapani-Kuine, Chisapani and Rajapur route, which has been a religious and commercial footpath since centuries, will be upgraded to a paved road and a three-legged suspension bridge is going to be built at Bheri-Karnali Dobhan to attract Indian pilgrims going to Mansarovar. Locals believe that the triple suspension bridge will make walking in West Surkhet easy and accessible and will prove to be a milestone in increasing tourism activities.
Panchapuri Municipality has initiated the necessary process for the construction of a three-way suspension bridge at the intersection of Bheri and Karnali rivers to further promote the religiously and touristically famous western region. Lalbir Bhandari, head of Panchapuri Municipality, informed that the feasibility study is going to be done in the current financial year as the proposal made in the suspension bridge division for the construction of three-way bridge has been approved. According to him, the bridge to be built in Dobhan will connect Sugarkhal of Kailali’s Mahonyal Rural Municipality, Kuine of Panchapuri and Ghatgaon of Choukune.
City chief Bhandari said that it is planned to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) and start the construction after the completion of soil testing this year. According to him, the tourists who come to see the bridge after construction
E Bheri-Karnali will be established as a religious corridor leading to Chandannath temple in Jumla along with Dobhan bridge.
After bathing in Bheri-Karnali Dobhan, along with viewing the religious areas of Chokune and Panchpuri areas, he said that the people’s representatives are now emphasizing on the construction of infrastructure of local roads for easy access to Jumla through Panchkoshi area of Dailekh. There are more than a dozen religious and touristic places in Panchapuri including Jajura Dah, Guptital, Chamere Cave, Shivdham.