House panel tells govt to speed up Fast Track

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
House panel tells govt to speed up Fast Track

Jan 28, 2015-

The parliamentary Development Committee on Wednesday directed the government to speed up the construction of the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track Project.

The government is currently evaluating the financial bid documents submitted by two aspiring contractors for the high-speed highway project, Oriental Structure Engineers of New Delhi and a Mumbai-based consortium consisting of IL & FS Transportation Network, IL & FS Engineering & Construction and Suryavir Infrastructure Construction.

Expressing concern over the slow progress of the project, the House panel also told the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport to clear any obstructions at the earliest.  

Chairman of the committee Rabindra Adhikari said although the government is undertaking the evaluation process of the bidders, it should ensure that the projects are developed in time given various facilities offered to the developers.

This is the second time that the government has invited bids for the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track as there were no takers during the first call for tenders. The previous bidding process was cancelled two years ago as none of the selected firms submitted requests for proposal seeing scant chances of being able to make much money from it.

Subsequently, the government sweetened the deal by guaranteeing a minimum vehicle movement and assuring compensation. It has also assured a 20 percent stake in this national pride project which will drastically cut the travel time between the Capital and the southern plains. The government has put a condition that if the vehicular movement is greater than the fixed level, the developer will have to share the income on a 50:50 basis for the additional traffic. In case the traffic is less than expected, the developer will be compensated based on the toll fee determined. The government has kept open the option of building the expressway on its own if a developer cannot be selected this time around too.

Adhikari said the committee also wanted to be sure whether the Fast-Track and the Kathmandu-Hetauda Tunnel Road could operate simultaneously. “The government has already been asked to create legal mechanisms to ensure greater private sector investment in the infrastructure sector,” he said.

Published: 29-01-2015 09:28

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