The cost of expanding the highway section between Naryanghat and Muglin may increase by Rs 320 million, the project’s top official said on Friday.
Narayanghat-Muglin Road Project Acting Chief Govinda Khanal told Rastriya Samachar Samiti, “The contractor won the tender for Rs 2.88 billion, but the entire cost is likely to cross Rs 3.2 billion with the rise in construction costs.
He cited various delays and extension of project completion date by one year for the increase. The tender bid stipulated the project timeframe of two years.
Earth excavation to build stonewalls to prevent landslides, construction of drains, clearing debris of landslides, and layering asphalt on a wider area have added costs to the original estimate, he said.
The project has completed around 80 per cent of the construction work. Asphalting of 30 km of the 33.275 km section is complete.
The initial cost estimate assumed removal of 2,000 cubic metres of soil and stones. Frequent landslides at construction sites compelled crews to remove thousands of cubic metres of soil, officials said.
The project will expand the highway to double-lane of Asian standard. The current width of the road is 5.5 metres. Construction of a 4-km wall on a stretch of the highway also added to the cost.
The initial plan envisaged asphalting nine metres of the road’s 11-metre width would be black topped. The road widening begins from Aaptari, 2 km from Narayanghat. The 16 km section from Aaptari to Jugedi will be 11 metres wide, and the section from Jugedi to Muglin 9 metres wide.
The project aims to expand the existing road between Naryanghat and Muglin in Chitwan district as per Asian Highway Standard. This section is along the East - West highway between Kathmandu and Birgunj.
The starting point of the road alignment is from the junction at Anptari, Naryanghat. It is a commercial hub and key point of the highway connecting different parts of the country from Bharatpur Municipality to Muglin in Darechock VDC in Chitwan district. Muglin is another important business centre and nodal point from where the Naryanghat - Muglin Highway (H 05) ends, connecting with the Prithivi Highway (H04).
The Narayanghat-Mungling road is a part of Nepal India Trade and Transport Facilitation Project. The authorities carried out a social impact assessment and census survey in March 2011.