House panel tells govt to speed up pride projects

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 18, 2014-

The parliamentary Development Committee on Thursday directed the Office of the Prime Minister and the ministries concerned to address the problems being faced by national pride projects through a one-door mechanism.

The panel has asked the government to form a minister-level inter-ministerial mechanism comprising the ministers of the Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Forest and Soil Conservation, Home Affairs, Industry, Federal Affairs and Local Development and the Environment, Science and Technology ministries to make this possible.

The committee’s directive states that the inter-ministerial mechanism should forge effective coordination, hold monthly meetings, come up with a constructive output and solve the issues and notify the committee about the progress.

The Development Committee issued the directive concerned by the slow pace of progress of most of the national pride projects. Only 7 percent of the capital budget was spent in the first four months of the fiscal year, said a government report.

“A majority of the projects have failed to show the expected growth due to shortages of construction materials like boulders, stones and sand, among others. Delays were also caused by other difficulties like development activities needing to be done in forests and conservation areas, procedural delays in the Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment and issues of land acquisition caused mainly due to lack of coordination between line ministries,” the House panel said.

The committee has also directed the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development to address the problems related to crusher factories by holding discussions with the concerned authorities and creating a proper directive and standards for the sector.

The panel’s directive has aimed to make sure that unavailability of building materials do not affect the development of national pride projects. In the last fiscal year, many development projects suffered from a shortage of construction materials after crusher factories went on strike.

Similarly, the committee has told the Forest and Soil Conservation Ministry to formulate a brief working procedure for the IEE and EIA in a bid to lessen the possibilities of delays in development activities due to these practices.

The country will have to expedite the development activities if it is to achieve the target of graduating from the LDC (least developed country) status by 2022, the committee said, and has asked the stakeholders to identify locations from where natural resources can be extracted besides being more efficient in implementing development projects.

Meanwhile, the House committee has decided to do a field study of the Melamchi Water Supply Project on January 18, 2015. The panel will collect a detailed account of the current status, work execution, issues and challenges of the project.

Published: 19-12-2014 09:38

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