China formally hands over Kalanki-Koteshwor road expansion project 

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2019-

The Chinese government officially handed over the 10.5 km Kalanki-Koteshwor road expansion project to Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project on Monday.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi made a formal announcement of the handover and handed a symbolic key to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at a function organised in Lalitpur. Government officials, representatives from Shanghai Construction Group Ltd, the main contractor of the project, and dignitaries from both the countries were present on the occasion.

Shanghai Construction took five years to complete the first section of the China-funded project that began in June 2013. The project cost Rs5.13 billion. 

Addressing the function, Oli expressed his gratitude to China for helping build the infrastructure and its contribution in other sectors, including hydropower, agriculture and education. “For centuries, Nepal and China were connected by hills, mountains and rivers; now, the ties between the two countries have become even more special with polished diplomatic relationships,” said Oli.

Ambassador Hou said the project was delayed because of various reasons, including the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, Indian blockade and problems in land acquisitions. 

In response, PM Oli assured that procedural problems like land acquisitions will not occur during the second phase.

The Kalanki-Koteshwor road has drawn criticism from various quarters, as it lacks infrastructure for pedestrians, like overhead bridge and zebra crossings. 

On May 26 last year the Post ran a story how the newly opened eight-lane Kalanki-Koteshwor road section had become a death trap. Police statistics show that in the past six months, eight people were killed on the road. On November 6 last year, the Post carried out another story based on data from the Metropolitan Traffic Police Range, Lalitpur, which said nine people had died and 172 people were injured along the road in four months period due to lack of lane markings, zebra crossings, dividers, traffic lights, night-lights, and properly designated bus stops.


Published: 29-01-2019 09:53

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