The Himalayan Times, 6 Jan 2018
Despite prioritising 21 mega projects as National Pride Projects to expedite their construction process, the progress of most NPPs in the first quadrimester of the current fiscal has been less than satisfactory.
According to National Planning Commission — the apex planning body of the country — the performance of only four projects out of the 21 was satisfactory with achievement of more than 80 per cent progress in the review period.
Bheri-Babai Diversion Multi-purpose Project recorded 135.4 per cent progress, Babai Irrigation Project recorded 91.5 per cent, Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project achieved 90.9 per cent and Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project saw 80.7 per cent of its works completed during the first four months of the fiscal.
At the other end of the spectrum, Second International Airport and West Seti Hydropower Project made nil physical and financial progress in the review period.
The implementing modality of SIA is yet to be finalised, while Nepal Electricity Authority signed a joint venture agreement to construct West Seti Hydropower Project with China Three Gorges Corporation only on November 17. Kathmandu-Tarai-Madhes Expressway Project also saw negligible progress.
Tulasi Prasad Gautam, spokesperson for NPC, said Koshi Highway recorded 15 per cent achievement, Kaligandaki Corridor Project recorded 12 per cent and Pokhara Regional International Project achieved five per cent progress during the review period.
|At a glance|
|Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project||0.60%|
|Melamchi Drinking Water Project||65.70%|
|Pashupati Area Development Trust||20%|
|Lumbini Area Development Trust||53%|
|President Chure Conservation Project||55.30%|
|Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track||Negligible|
|North-South Koshi Corridor||15%|
|Postal Highway (including bridges)||25%|
|Railway, Metrorail and Monorail Development Project||22%|
|Babai Irrigation Project||91.50%|
|Sikta Irrigation Project||71.80%|
|Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation||80.70%|
|Bheri-Babai Multipurpose Project||135.40%|
|Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower||90.90%|
|South Asia Tourism Reform Project (Gautam Buddha Airport)||28.30%|
|Pokhara Regional International Airport||5%|
|Second International Airport (Nijgadh)||0%|
|West Seti Hydro Power||0%|
|North-South Kaligandaki Corridor||12%|
|North-South Karnali Corridor||50%|
During the 41st meeting of the National Development Action Committee today, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba directed the concerned ministers, secretaries and agencies to accelerate capital expenditure and reconstruction process.
Deuba added that development activities had been affected due to elections and should be accelerated. “We have seen that progress of most of the prioritised projects is extremely slow, and this situation should be rectified soon,” he added.
Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said development activities had not gathered momentum though the government had reframed policies regarding budget spending.
“Ministries tend to delay approval process of development projects for months, which has adversely affected government’s expenditure on mega projects,” he said, adding that it is ironical that files seeking extra budget have been piling up at the finance ministry while the concerned agencies were unable to spend the budget allocated for projects.
Vice Chairman of NPC Swarnim Wagle also said development-related works should be expedited with proper coordination and cooperation between multiple government agencies to achieve the target of economic growth and prosperity.