Stakeholders have underlined the need to upgrade the Pokhara-Sunauli Siddhartha Highway that has been in dilapidated condition for over the years. It was raised at the public hearing events held in different parts of Syangja district on the initiative of the Department of Roads, Development Cooperation Implementation Division under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.
Various stakeholders have been raising the voice for the up-gradation of 157-km portion of Butwal-Pokhara section along the Siddhartha Highway. Representative of the Department of Roads, Yubaraj Satyal shared that suggestions were collected from different stakeholders and beneficiaries by organizing public hearings in Galyang, Waling, Bhirkot and Putalibazaar. Feedback collection was however done in other places from Butwal to Pokhara.
“The Siddhartha Highway was getting narrowed and dilapidated. There is no option to upgrade the highway”, Waling Municipality mayor Krishna Khand said. It has become urgent to enhance the standards of the road section that connects the Bhairahawa-based Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara International Airport.
Likewise, Pitambar Shrestha, chairperson of a struggle committee formed for the protection of house and huts built alongside the highway, said the use of the highway would decrease if its up-gradation was not done in a timely manner.
“Trend of using alternative route is on the rise so the up-gradation of the highway is a must”, he said. Though it has been 52 years since the highway has come into operation, it was disappointing to await for the up-gradation for a long time, he noted.