Tikapur: The bridge spanning the Karnali River at Tikapur-8 along the Hulaki Highway, connecting Kailali and Bardiya, is facing a precarious situation. The safety of the bridge is increasingly compromised as the protective embankment, intended to shield it from river erosion, is being eroded away.
The Karnali Bridge, a vital link between Sudurpaschim Province and Province 5, is now under severe threat of collapse due to the erosive forces of the river. Local residents attribute the imminent danger to the surging water levels in the Karnali River during the rainy season.
On the eastern flank of the bridge, the situation has worsened due to the water flow towards Bardia's Rajapur municipality. The wire mesh, along with the bridge's eastern-side support pillars, is now deteriorating. A substantial breach has developed on the eastern side of the bridge. Dhansingh Saud, a resident of Tikapur-8 Suryapur, expressed concern about the bridge's vulnerability, even as ongoing repair work attempts to mitigate the risk.
"Despite ongoing repair efforts, the wire mesh continues to be compromised in the same area for the past three years, indicating a lack of a sustainable solution," Thakulla remarked.
Thakulla emphasized that addressing the issue and securing the bridge would require extending a section (span) of the bridge's length. Therefore, local authorities are in coordination with the construction company to address the growing threat. The bridge, initially constructed by Rasuwa Construction in the year 2071 BS, has been undergoing repeated repair work during each rainy season due to its deteriorating condition.
The ward president, Thakulla, further noted that given the persistent challenges, significant funds have been allocated for repairs to tackle the recurring wire mesh issues. Hence, the pressing need to consider extending a section of the bridge to ensure its long-term stability. The construction company has been maintaining that the bridge cannot accommodate an additional section, leading to the annual repair routine.