The Kathmandu Post, 2 July 2018
Amid worsening traffic congestion on city roads, the government is making preparations for a study on the construction of a tunnel road in the Koteshwor–Jadibuti section. According to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), the government has earmarked funds for the purpose in the budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 and the study will be initiated within a year.
Answering lawmakers’ queries in Parliament recently, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth said that the ministry would complete the process of preparing Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the proposed tunnel way by the upcoming fiscal year and initiate the construction process soon after that. “The government is committed to reducing the traffic chaos in Kathmandu,” Mahaseth said, adding that the government was also making preparations to upgrade the existing Manohara–Hanumante road stretch to ease pressure on the Koteshwor–Jadibuti road section.
The ministry will, however, initiate a feasibility study of the project before starting the DPR, Joint-secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Rajendra Raj Sharma said, adding the Department of Roads (DoR) will be directed to conduct the study. “It might take about a year to complete the process,” Sharma said, explaining that the feasibility study of a tunnel between Dhobikhola and Bagmati River along the Maitighar-Tinkune road section took almost a year and half.
“Apart from the manpower from the DoR, the government will hiring a couple of foreign consultants for the purpose,” he said, adding that a study of geological aspects will be the main concern for the tunnel road.
The 9.14-km Tinkune-Suryabinayak stretch of the Araniko Highway was widened to a six-lane road in May 2011 with Rs2 billion grant assistance from the Japanese government.
Apart from this, the government has also allocated funds for the construction of a tunnel at the Naubise-Nagdhunga section of the Prithivi Highway and feasibility study and construction of a tunnel in the Tokha-Khahare-Gurgubhanjyang, Siddababa section of the Butwal-Palpa road along the Siddhartha Highway; the Khurkot-Chiyabari section of the BP Highway; Bipinagar-Khutiya-Dipayal section and Thankot Chitlang section along the Ganesh Man Singh Road.
The government also plans to build two underpasses in the Valley—at New Baneshwor and Maharajgunj. This plan follows the construction of the Kalanki underpass that is in its final stage of completion.