Domestic labor, skills to be prioritized on Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track construction

June 30, 2017

The Himalayan Times, 30 June 2017

Nepal Army has said it has prioritized the locally available labor and skills for the construction of the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track.

After the government awarded the responsibility of the construction of Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track to Nepal Army, the latter has made it clear that the construction work would be expedited by prioritizing the domestic skill and technologies.

During a review meeting held on Thursday on the expressway begun under the management of Nepal Army, the participants including Chairman of the State Affairs Committee of the Legislature-Parliament Dil Bahadur Gharti and stakeholders said the challenge at present was the preparation of detailed project report (DPR).

It was uncertain which DPR to adopt — the old or the new one, they said, adding that some of the areas affected by the project were yet to be provided compensation. The study committee is yet to make a decision on whether to forward the project based on the report prepared by an Indian company or as per the new report that should be prepared.

Along with report making and its submission, it is also suggested that the engineering and technical preparations be made in a special manner.

Vice President Meen Bahadur Shrestha at the National Planning Commission (NPC) expressed his confidence that the construction process would gain pace once the DPR is decided on the same.

Shrestha shared that the NA was entrusted with the responsibility to construct the fast track as the expressway is not only a road but could be a bridge between Tarai and Madhesh Besides being an indicator of development.

Former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had laid the foundation stone for the project on May 28 this year.

It was likely to be built by the government of Nepal itself as per the last fiscal year’s policy and programs but the NA was assigned for the construction based on the recommendations furnished in the report prepared by the committee where NPC’s Vice President Shrestha was the coordinator.

The work procedure for the project was endorsed on June 22 while the NA had made a survey on June 6. The NA is to set up camps in ten places across the project site for preparations to swing into action for building the fast tract.

The government allocated Rs 1.35 billion for the project, on June 22. Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri expressed the belief that the NA would be mobilized to complete the project on time as the project is Nepal’s pride and a basis for economic prosperity.

He said that it is the matter of happiness to the NA to get responsibility for the construction of the project.
Saying support of all government bodies was necessary for the construction of the project, CoAS Chhetri said that they were ready to move ahead after taking the locals into confidence.

Chairman of High Powered Direction Committee (HPDC) and Chief of Staff Purna Chandra Thapa said that preparation was made to deploy 10 taskforces for road construction, three taskforces for bridge construction and a taskforce for the construction of the tunnel.

Briefing about the overall progress of the project, Major General Yogendra Bahadur Khand of the NA Technical Department said that they would carry out works round the clock to complete the project on the slated time.

Procurement process for heavy equipment forwarded

The NA has also forwarded the procurement process of the heavy equipment. Issuing a public bidding on June 22, the NA has issued the tender for the purchase of double cab pickup, trailer tractor, excavator with rock breaker, truck, wheel loader, air compressor, roller, bulldozer, back loader and grader.

Producers, suppliers, and agents can take part in the bidding. The total amount of the bidding is around Rs 1 billion.

The amount of the collateral is fixed at 302,070 US Dollars.

HPDC Chairman Thapa said that field visits and discussions were intensified as part of the plan to begin he construction works from three separate sites for the construction of the 76.2-kilometre road. Of the total length, 8-km falls in Lalitpur, 4-km in Kathmandu, 56-km in Makawanpur while remaining 8-km section comes under Bara district.