1 November 2020
The Narayangadh-Butwal section of the East-West Highway is gradually turning into ruins while the most difficult stretch with sharp bends and steep road at Daunne Hill is in miserable state and dusty. Most other stretches wear a rugged look due to multiple patch works.
Considered as the artery of trade and travel for the Himalayan nation, the highway is the lifeline for business, trade and human relations. It is the only road that connects the eastern and western border of the country. The Narayangadh-Butwal section is crucial for the movement of goods as it connects Bhairahawa, one of the largest trading points at the southern border with India. On the way, one can see hundreds of heavy trucks carrying goods ranging from petroleum to vegetables and heavy machinery.
Although the process of the expansion of the road was initiated in 2016, it was inaugurated in 2019 January and should be completed by 2022. There is little progress made. Half of the section awaits clearing of the forest, which has become a contentious issue. The Chinese workers left for their home in late December 2019, and returned just a couple of months ago.
Dumkibas, a town at the foothill of Daunne, fears for the worst as the entire road crossing the locality is in a dilapidated state and the shops and settlements around are engulfed in dust and vehicle emission throughout the day.