December 3, 2018
Earlier today, near the epicenter of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, the Government of Japan handed over five bridges which were newly constructed along the Barhakilo-Barpak road in Gorkha amidst a formal inauguration ceremony in Gorkha. Honorable Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Raghubir Mahaseth was the Chief Guest for the event where the new bridges were handed over to the Government of Nepal. The event was also attended by H.E. Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Masamichi Saigo and the newly appointed Chief Representative of JICA Nepal Office, Ms. Yumiko Asakuma.
In December 2015, half a year after the devastating Gorkha Earthquake, the two governments signed an agreement for Japanese grant assistance of to be provided for major infrastructure reconstruction and rehabilitation including the 3 bridges in Gorkha. "The Subproject of Bridge Construction along Barhakilo-Barpak Road" is one of the 3 sub-projects under the umbrella grant "the Program for Rehabilitation and Recovery from Nepal Earthquake." This subproject amounting to 930 million JPY was initiated to support speedy reconstruction and recovery in the earthquake affected areas by ensuring all-season reliable access to the northern part of the Gorkha District. The construction of the three PC (pre-stressed concrete) bridges by the grant subproject – Daraudi Khola Bridge, Ghatte Khola Bridge, and Rangrung Khola Bridge – was completed in July 2018. In addition, two RC (reinforced concrete) bridges – Khahare Khola Bridge and Jhyalla Khola Bridge – were also constructed by another JICA technical cooperation project "the Project on Rehabilitation and Recovery from Nepal Earthquake."
During the event, Ambassador Saigo expressed his hope that the 5 newly constructed bridges will enable the people to access other communities, major markets and cities conveniently and safely throughout the year, and this would contribute to enhance the accessibility to public services, and to improve the economic activities in the northern part of Gorkha. He also hoped the friendship between Japan and Nepal will be further strengthened through this project.
Chief Representative of JICA Nepal Ms. Asakuma expressed JICA's commitment to continuing its support to the post-earthquake recovery in Nepal based on the Build Back Better (BBB) concept. She also shared her hope that the new bridges will contribute to not just supporting speedy reconstruction and recovery in the surrounding areas, but also bringing in new energies, resources, and initiatives for longer-term sustainable development in the affected communities.
The local people around these areas have benefitted at large with this new development of extended accessibility and prefer calling the new bridges as "Japanese bridges." It is hoped that these bridges will help expedite recovery in the surrounding communities and also stands firm as a symbol of friendship between the two nations.