NHIDCL road projects gather pace in State, Rangpo viaduct stares at delay

NHIDCL road projects gather pace in State, Rangpo viaduct stares at delay
Sun, Feb 10, 2019

KUNAL RAI
GANGTOK:
Double laning, upgradation and black topping of several roads in the State being undertaken by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) have gathered pace during the past few months.
Devendra Singh, the general manager of NHIDCL Gangtok told SIKKIM EXPRESS that all road projects apart from the Rangpo viaduct are being executed smoothly for timely. In the capital, he informed that black topping of the 10-km-long Indira Byepass-Bojoghari road is currently underway and at least 3 km has been covered. Also, drainage works on more than 6 km have been done. “Our endeavour is to complete the said project by April 2019,” he added.
Another NHIDCL project, the Rhenock-Pakyong road has also seen some physical progress as around 12 km stretch of the 27 km road has been widened and carpeting works is scheduled to begin later next week. The widening work on the forest areas has been done as the Central road agency availed 100 percent forest clearance but the only issue persisting is with public holding land. “The State administration had given us in writing on the Right of Way (ROW) being 100 feet but the locals claim that they have been only paid compensation for 54 feet following which works has been halted along the stretch. The administration must initiate steps in resolving the problem as it is effecting the required slopes, bends and curves of the road. This if resolved, the people will avail designed speed, better curves and gradient,” said the general manager.
In South Sikkim, the 16.5 km Tarku-Rabongla road is expected to see bituminous work commencing from March, next month.
The only project likely to miss the scheduled timeline is the 1-km-long Rangpo viaduct connecting Sikkim and West Bengal. Piers have been constructed on the Sikkim side of the border and those located in the river are also being constructed. However, construction work on the West Bengal side has hit a stumbling block owing to resistance by local residents.
Devendra Singh mentioned that the West Bengal government must resolve the persisting problem so that the remaining piers on their side can also be constructed and the project completed within the stipulated time.


Area: 7096 Sq Km
Capital:Gangtok
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Climate:
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi