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Nepal’s first Expressway DPR awaits cabinet endorsement

KATHMANDU: After remaining in limbo for four months, the expressway DPR is again being submitted to the cabinet meeting for its final endorsement for taking ahead all works of the national pride project The Ministry of Defence is all set to submit it to the cabinet.
“We have received a reviewed report of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project which was sent to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport for review,” Under-secretary Manoj Acharya at the Ministry of Defence said.
“Most probably, the Defence Ministry is likely to receive some specific decision on the submitted DPR for endorsement from the Cabinet to take the project’s remaining work ahead,” Acharya said.
Nepali Army had awarded the South Korean Soosung and Engineering Company Limited to prepare the DPR of the fast track, and the NA had submitted the DPR to the Ministry of Defence on March 16, 2019 for its endorsement from the cabinet.
The NA has said that it was going to construct the project through ‘Build and Design Model’ under which the international contractors will have to prepare the design of the respective project’s tunnels and bridges under the given models. The four-year project was handed over to the NA on May 4, 2017 by the government, and the Physical Infrastructure Ministry had also handed over the projects to the NA on August 11, 2017 for the completion of the project.
That means, the NA has only two years left to complete the project (by August, 2021).
According to Brigadier General and director at the Directorate of Public Relations and Information of the Army Headquarters Bigyan Dev Pandey, the tunnel and bridge construction works which will be forwarded through the international contractors will be built under the build and design model.
According to the NA Headquarters, it will take one and half years to complete the current field work of cutting, filling and wall construction work.
For taking the tunnel and bridge construction works ahead, six international companies have already been short-listed. Among them, two companies will be awarded for the task, Pandey said. Among the six short-listed international contractors, five of them were from China and one from Turkey. And after short-listing, one company will be given tunnel project and another the bridge construction work, he said.
He, however, said that no further work tunnel and bridge construction could be moved ahead if the Cabinet did not endorse the DPR. According to NA, among the total 87 bridges, 16 will be of the international standards. The total bridge’s length will be 10.59 km and three tunnels’ length would be 6.41 kilometres. Except the total length of the tunnel and bridges, there would be a total of 55.5 km road section only. That means, the total length of the whole project is 72.5 kilometres, he said.
According to the headquarters, still land compensation to 10,733 ropanis of land in Khokana and tunnel construction site is yet to be provided.
Earlier the project cost was estimated at Rs. 112 billion. But today, the NA has reached a conclusion that the cost of the project will automatically be increased and expected to take additional Rs. 111 billion.
As per project, the NA is going to construct tunnels in Mahadev Danda with 3.355 km, 1.620 in Budune area of Makwanpur and Lendanda with 1.420 kilometres. The travel distance of the fast track is 1 hour 2 minute and 22 seconds.

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