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Nepal’s first expressway ‘Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track’ DPR awaiting cabinet’s approval

KATHMANDU: Construction of mega-size tunnels and bridges along the Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track, (Nepal’s first Expressway) Road has been stalled as the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Fast Track is awaiting final approval from the Council of Ministers.
The DPR of the 4-year Fast Track, prepared by South Korean Soosung Engineering and Consulting Company, was handed over to the Ministry of Defence by the Nepali Army two weeks ago. The Korean company had handed over the final draft of the DPR to the NA on March 18.
“The DPR is currently lying at the Council of Ministers for its final nod,” said Defence Secretary Reshmiraj Pandey talking to The Rising Nepal Friday. “I could not say anything more than this as the DPR of the project is currently awaiting the cabinet’s final go-ahead,” Pandey said.
“As soon as the DPR gets final endorsement from the cabinet, we can undertake the remaining mega-size works like constructing taller bridges and longer tunnels,” Nepali Army spokesperson and Brigadier General Bigyan Dev Pandey, said. 1
There will be around 99 small and big bridges along the Fast Track as mentioned in the DPR.
The Nepali Army had awarded the Korean company the Rs. 101.2-million contract to prepare the DPR in October last year.
The NA had already shortlisted 10 international companies through calling International Competitive Bidding (ICB) to take the project’s work of constructing tunnels and tall bridges, according to the army headquarters.
The government has assigned the NA with full responsibility to carry out the Fast Track project, which the NA has segregated into 11 segments by establishing 10 permanent camps and a temporary camp.
Out of the 76.2-kilometre-long expressway, it plans to construct 17 km through its own capacity, hire dependable Nepali contractors for constructing 37 kilometre stretch and sign up foreign contractors for the remaining 22.2 km section, that include tunnels and bridges, according to the NA.
According to the army headquarters, as per the DPR, slight changes have been made in the alignment of the project including the starting point of the project.
The estimated cost of the project stands at Rs. 111 billion.
Having a width of 25 metres, the Fast Track will be metalled and the NA has cleared a total of 30 metres of width.
Of the total length, 4.9 km of the Fast Track will lie in Kathmandu district, 7.9 km in Lalitpur, 56.7 km in Makawanpur and 7.6 km in Bara.
At present, the NA had been taking the project work by awarding 32 domestic firms for different sections of the project.
According to Brigadier General Pandey, the cutting, filling and retaining works of the project are moving ahead smoothly.
According to the army headquarters source, the project will receive a budget ceiling of Rs. 20 billion for the coming new fiscal year of 2019/20.
During the current fiscal year, the project has received Rs. 15 billion budget, and of them, around 9 billion could not be spent after the project could not call ICB in absence of the DPR. Over 100 heavy equipment have been deployed in the project site.

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