With about 6 months left for the project deadline, only 45 percent of the work has been so far completed in Nawalparasi’s eastern section under the Narayanghat-Butwal road expansion project – according to the Road Expansion Project’s eastern section chief Ashish Thapa Magar.

The Narayanghat-Butwal road expansion work was initiated in 2019. Since then, the deadline has been extended twice. The second extension will expire in mid-July this year.

However, Magar believes that 90 percent of the total work will be completed during the 6 months. The construction company, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, will be responsible for repair for five years even after the construction of the project.

In 2022, China State Construction Engineering Corporation was warned by the Department of Roads for leaving behind many potholes and not completing repair and maintenance work on time for the same project – which had caused upwards of 3 hours of delay in traveling the highway.

“The work progress is sluggish. We have been repeatedly instructing the contractor to speed up the work,” stated Magar, with only half a year to finish more than half of the project started in 2019.

The 113-kilometer Narayanghat-Butwal section of the East-West Highway covers about 65 kilometers in the Middle-East section.

The plan is to construct a six-lane road in the market area with service lanes, three in the Daunne section, and four lanes in other areas. So far, only 21 kilometers of two-lane road have been completed in the eastern section.

About 125 kilometers of road has to be constructed after calculating the two-lane road except the part of a bridge. Thus, more than 100 kilometers of blacktopping is yet to be done.