KATHMANDU, Feb 3: The government is planning to add extra lanes at both sides of the Koteshwor-Jadibuti road section of the Araniko Highway to bring an end to the daily traffic jam.
Traffic bottleneck occurring at Koteshwar-Jadibuti junction which extends to Ghhataghar, almost daily has become a huge problem as it holds up traffic for hours causing delay to commuters.
The government is also planning to construct an underpass or a flyover at this section as the long-term solution to this problem.
For this, the government has already requested the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Spokesperson at the Department of Roads, Shivahari Sapkota said the plan is to construct one more lane towards the north side of the road while it would be expanded up to two or three lanes to its south side for the time being.
According to him, the department has its land on the northern side of the road for construction of the lane.
It will only have to shift the pedestrian’s lane and drain for this purpose.
However, to expand the lane on the southern side of the road, the Department will have to request the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for providing land for the construction of the additional lanes.
“The land belonging to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal could be used to expand the road to the southern side, in coordination with the Ministry,” he said.
The government’s plan looks feasible but the airport’s lighting system might come as a hurdle in southward expansion of the road. Some structures of the airport lighting system have to be removed for this.
The Department plans to open the track of extra lanes on the road section and operate it by May.
Sapkota believes that the construction of one extra lane on both sides of the road in this section will greatly ease the traffic movement.
“We are discussing as to how many more lanes can be constructed to the south of the road section without disturbing the airport’s operation,” he said.
JICA has already conducted a pre-feasibility study of the Koteshwar-Jadibuti road section for the construction of the extra lanes before this.
According to Sapkota, the construction of extra lanes on this section of the road is only a temporary measure to ease the traffic jam problem but the construction of an underpass is the only alternative for the long-term.
Arjun Jung Thapa, the chief of the Department of Roads, Development Coordination Division, said the JICA study has suggested construction of an underpass or a fly-over on the main road itself or in the area belonging to the airport.
“It is found that in many countries there is airport runway on the surface and an underpass below. The vehicular movement would not be disturbed if the underpass or fly-over is not constructed on the main road,” Thapa suggested.
By Sanchita Ghimire/Rss