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Now no obstacles ahead in construction of fast-track project: Nepal Army

Narayan Neupane, KATHMANDU: The Nepal Army has expressed its commitment to carry out works putting in all its efforts to complete the construction of the Kathmandu-Tarai/Madhes Fast-track within the deadline. The Fast-track is a strategic project of national pride.
Addressing a news conference organized at the Army Headquarters today, Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Bigyandev Pandey said there were no obstacles in speeding up the project’s construction as the DPR, human resources and the fund required for the project have been ensured now.
The Army organized the press conference with the objective of sharing information on the Detailed Project Report (DPT) and work progress of the project.
The Council of Ministers, on August 18, had approved the DPR prepared by Susung Engineering and Consulting Company of Korea with revisions, in consultation with the ministry concerned.
The estimated construction cost of the project is Rs 175 billion 193 million 579 thousand including the value added tax, the project chief, Sarad Lal Shrestha, said. The expressway will be constructed as per the Asian Highway category ‘A’ design standards.
According to him, works related to the construction of special types of bridges and tunnels considered important in terms of moving ahead the project would be carried out simultaneously. “Works would be moved ahead leaving no stone unturned to fulfill the responsibility within the next three and half years by mobilizing all the means and resources,” he said.
Three tunnels- one each at Mahadevdanda, Dhedredanda and Lendanda – would be constructed along the 72.5 kilometres long fast-track. Sixteen bridges of special nature, each with a height of 74 metres, will also need to be constructed. The bridges will be about half a kilometer long.
Nijgadh of Bara in the Tarai/Madhesh can be reached in one hour from Kathmandu following the construction of the fast-track.
The three tunnels are 6.41 kilometres long and 87 bridges including the big and tall ones will be constructed.
The construction works could not make progress as the DPR was not approved for five months and Rs 9 billion out of the Rs 15 billion earmarked for the fast-track project in previous year was returned.
Assistant spokesman of the Ministry of Defence, Manoj Kumar Acharya said they have got commitment from the Ministry of Finance that there would not be any shortage of budget for the construction of the fast-track.
The expressway will be of four lanes and it will be 25 metres wide in the hilly region and 27 metres wide in the plains region. There will be one inter-change each at Khokana, Budune and Nijgadh and two resting places along the highway.
The fast track’s work progress is cent per cent on 25.44 kilometres upto sub-grade formation, it is 80 per cent in 10 kilometres are and 50 to 80 per cent in 16 kilometres, it was stated on the occasion.
It is said 96 per cent progress has been made towards land acquisition works and 97 per cent progress achieved towards cutting trees for the project. The government has allocated Rs 15 billion for the project in the current fiscal year.
The Nepal Army is carrying out the construction works of the project by setting up camps at 10 places. RSS

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