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Rasuwagadhi highway set to be upgraded

- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Jan 23, 2018-

A high-level team from China has arrived in Nepal to study part of the Galchhi-Trishuli-Rasuwagadhi Highway which is being upgraded with Chinese aid. The group, consisting of officials from the Commerce Ministry of China, will be conducting a feasibility study to improve an 18-km stretch from Syabrubesi to Rasuwagadhi.

They are scheduled to meet with officials of the Department of Roads before leaving for a site visit. “We have been informed that the Chinese officials have arrived in Kathmandu, but we have not met them yet,” said Sanjay Kumar Shrestha, chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the department. 

“We will probably meet them on Tuesday or Wednesday when they will be telling us about their timeline for the survey. After concluding the feasibility study, they will submit a report to the department before starting construction.” 

Nepal and China had signed an agreement several years ago to upgrade the section of the highway that connects the two countries.   

In December 2016, Nepal and China signed a Rs15.7 billion (RMB 1 billion) bilateral assistance agreement. The funds will be used to repair and improve the Syabrubesi-Rasuwagadhi section of the highway besides upgrading and renovating the Civil Service Hospital. Some of the money will be spent on post-disaster reconstruction projects. 

The accord was signed by Leela Mani Paudyal, ambassador of Nepal to China, and  Zhang Xiangchen, Chinese vice-minister for commerce, on behalf of their respective governments.

Meanwhile, Nepal has started upgradation and construction work on the remaining portion of the 82-km Galchhi-Trishuli-Rasuwagadhi Highway. The department has completed 10 percent of the work on the 46-km Galchhi-Mailung section. The project office is about to acquire private land and clear forested areas along the road so that it can be widened. 

“We are planning to acquire land so that a 30-metre wide road can be built. For this, 15 metres of land must be acquired from the road’s centre line on either side,” said Subodh Devkota, department appointed project chief of the Galchhi-Trishuli-Rasuwa-gadhi Highway Project.  

Similarly, the government has assigned the Nepal Army to open the track of the 18-km Mailung-Syabrubesi section of the highway. “The army has said that they will complete the track opening and hand over the project to us by March,” said Devkota. “After that, we will initiate the procurement process to black top the road.”   

Likewise, the project is about to start the construction of four of the 11 bridges along the highway. “The Roads Department has approved the designs of four bridges prepared by the contractor, and they are about to begin construction,” said Devkota. 

The department is planning to complete the upgradation and construction of the Galchhi-Mailung section by March 2019, the deadline set by the government. 

Published: 23-01-2018 08:47

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