Syabrubesi road upgrade slated to start in Oct

- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Feb 24, 2018-The upgradation of the Syabrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road is slated to begin in October. The road is part of the Galchhi-Trishuli-Rasuwagadhi highway, a major north-south trade route linking China. 

The 18-km stretch of the highway is being improved with Chinese aid, and is expected to boost trade with the northern neighbour after it is completed.

Last month, a high-level Chinese team arrived and prepared a detailed project report (DPR) during its weeklong stay. The Department of Roads said that the team had completed a preliminary feasibility study for the double-lane road.

“The Chinese side has informed us that they will submit the DPR by May,” said Sanjay Kumar Shrestha, chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the department. “Once we approve their design, they will appoint a contractor and begin construction. They are planning to have the contractor at the project site by October 2018.”

Although the Chinese side is yet to submit the DPR to the department, there has been a broad agreement that the road will be a two-lane, all-weather highway with a width of 8 metres. “As per our estimate, it will take three years to complete the 18-km stretch because of the difficult terrain,” said Shrestha.

Nepal and China signed an agreement several years ago to upgrade the highway connecting the two countries. In December 2016, Nepal and China signed a Rs15.7 billion (RMB 1 billion) bilateral assistance agreement, and a portion of the funds will be used to repair and improve the Syabrubesi-Rasuwagadhi section of the highway. 

The rest of the money will be spent on upgrading and renovating the Civil Service Hospital and 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. The project will acquire enough land to construct a 30-metre wide road. 

Similarly, the government has assigned the Nepal Army to open the track of the 18-km Mailung-Syabrubesi section of the highway. According to the department, the Army will complete the track opening and hand over the project by March. After that, the department will initiate the procurement process to black top the road.

The project is also 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. 

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: 24-02-2018 09:54

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