Valley

Kathmandu-Tarai expressway to be shorter

  • According to Nepal Army, the project report has proposed more tunnels, shortening the road to 73.5km
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2019-

The length of the Kathmandu-Tarai expressway, being constructed by the Nepal Army, will be shortened by around 3 kilometres with an increase in the number of tunnels. The detailed project report to be submitted to the Army this week has decreased its length from 76.2 km to 73.5 km, according to a senior Army official.

Soosung Engineering and Consulting, a Korean Company tasked with preparing the report, has decided to increase the number of tunnels to three from one proposed in the feasibility study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2008. The Army, in its survey design, had stressed the need for having more tunnels.

Read: Govt decides to hand over Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track to Nepal Army

The ADB study had mapped a 1.35km tunnel in the Mahadevtar section. Two more tunnels will be added now in Jitpur and Lendanda sections with a length of around 1.4 km each.

According to Maj Gen Yogendra Bahadur Khand, chief of the project, the Korean firm will be submitting the report on Friday. “We, as an implementing agency, will go through the report and give our feedback. The company then will give it a final touch,” he told the Post. The Army, 13 months after being assigned the national pride project, had selected Soosung for preparing the detailed report, which is a must for developing a project.

Construction of the much hyped roadway began in May 2017 and was handed over to the Army three months later by the Department of Roads. An addition in the numbers of tunnels, according to Army officials, will decrease travel time while reducing the number of high brides. This, however, will increase the construction cost. Construction of the expressway, which has to be completed in the next two-and-a-half years to meet its deadline, will reduce driving time between the Capital and Nijgadh in Bara district to an hour.

Read more: Expressway to stay on course despite Khokana protests

The decade-old ADB study had estimated the construction cost at around Rs90 billion, which now has soared to Rs132 billion. This, however, is likely to go up further with the addition of tunnels and inflation. The report will also come up with the cost of the project.

Along with the Army, domestic and international construction companies will take up the work. While the defence force will undertake tasks such as clearing trees and cutting and filling in some sections along with construction on easy stretches, domestic construction companies will be working on other road sections. International firms will be contracted to construct the major bridges and tunnels.

Published: 30-01-2019 08:09

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