August 22: The government has finally approved the detailed project report (DPR) of the much-awaited Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track almost after six months.
The government approved the DPR after revising the estimated cost of the project.
South Korea’s Soosung Engineering and Consulting Company had prepared the DPR with an estimated cost of Rs 213 billion and handed it over to the Nepalese Army more than five months ago. The Nepalese Army, which has been assigned to construct the fast track, had presented the DPR to the government back then but the government was dilly-dallying to approve the DPR.
After revising the DPR, the new estimate of the project has been fixed at Rs 155 billion exclusive of value added tax (VAT). The cost will rise to Rs 175 billion by including VAT.
The government has assigned the Department of Roads to review the estimated cost of the project.
Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Rajeshwar Gyawali told New Business Age on Wednesday (August 21) that the government approved the DPR after revising the estimated cost of the project as per the suggestion from the Department of Roads.
This has now opened the door for the Nepalese Army to carry out the construction of the expressway which had remained stalled since the last two years.
Spokesperson of the Nepalese Army Bigyan Pandey said that they will carry on with the project on war-footing.
Brigadier General Pandey further said that the Nepalese Army will issue a global tender within mid-September for the construction of 87 bridges and three tunnels along the fast track.
The government had announced to build the fast track more than a decade ago. But it initiated the process only in 2017 with the aim of completing the project within four years. The construction of the fast track is not likely to complete within the deadline as it took two years only to prepare the DPR and its approval.
Brigadier General Pandey admitted that it is quite difficult to complete the project within the deadline due to the delay in approval of the DPR.
“We will try our best to meet the deadline,” he said.
Once the fast track is built, commuters can reach Nijgadh of Bara district from Kathmandu within an hour.