“We are evaluating detailed technical and financial reports from the two companies. Final selection shouldn’t take long,” Nepal Army Spokesperson Brig Gen Gokul Bhandari told the Post. AF-Consult of Switzerland, JV of Yooshin and Pyunghwa of Korea, Louis Berger Consulting of India, Meinhard Limited and Soosung Engineering Co of China and SMEC International of Japan were the six companies shortlisted. The Army, however, has refused to disclose the names of the two finalists.
Once the consultant is appointed to prepare the DPR, the project office will provide a time period of around four months to complete the study and to present the report to the Army. Hardly three years and nine months to the deadline, no significant work has been done so far.
Currently the Army is carrying out preliminary construction of the road expected to shorten travel from Nijgadh in Bara to the Capital to an hour. The Army is currently clearing trees and acquiring land in the project area. However, it remains undecided whether Khokana or Pharsidol will be its entry point from Kathmandu.
While the Nepal Army has taken charge of the project, domestic or international contractors will be tasked with most of the major works. The Army has no experience of doing technically challenging projects like an expressway although it has opened tracks of over two dozen crucial roads in difficult terrains. The expressway track was also opened by the Army. While local contractors would do soil reinforcing, cutting and filling, and cross drainage works, international contractors are said to work on high bridges and tunnels.