Constructing a new Bailey Bridge in place of the concrete bridge that was swept away by a massive flood in the Melamchi River two years ago seemed to be impossible before the onset of the monsoon.
The massive flood that fell from Bhemathan of Melamchi on June 15, 2021, swept away the concrete bridge of Melamchi Bazaar.
Even two years after the washing away of the concrete bridge, no progress has been made in the construction of a concrete bridge or fixing a Bailey Bridge.
The Road Division Office, Charikot, is now taking initiatives for the construction of a Bailey Bridge over the Melamchi.
The office has estimated that it will cost Rs. 20 million for the construction of a Bailey Bridge. But as part of its first instalment, the Ministry of Finance has allocated a budget of only Rs. 4 million.
The tender was opened in December last year for the construction of the Bailey Bridge as mentioned in the budget. But none of the builders registered their forms for the bid processes.
Arjun Suwal, the head of the office, informed that the Road Division Office, Charikot, had opened the tender for the construction of the Bailey Bridge before the monsoon season. But the Ministry of Finance has not agreed on the tender. As the ministry did not approve the tender, it seems impossible to build the Bailey Bridge over the Melamchi before the rainy season. As the monsoon is about to start, the ministry itself is in confusion as to whether it should open the tender or not.
Since there was no possibility of building a concrete bridge immediately, the Road Division Office had made a strategy to manage traffic by fixing a Bailey Bridge. As the need for a bridge was high and the budget was too low, the concept of building a Bailey Bridge was floated, said the Road Division Office.
The Department of Roads has been saying that there are technical problems with the construction of a concrete bridge in any place including Melamchi without pre-estimating the floods and landslides that may occur in the future.
A concrete bridge has not even been designed to deal with the flood situation.
Newly appointed Minister for Health and Population Mohan Bahadur Basnet has said that a Bailey Bridge would be fixed in the Melamchi before the monsoon anyway. Half a dozen concrete bridges and dozens of suspension bridges in Helambu and Melamchi areas were swept away by the flood of June 15, 2021.