Japan ‘agrees’ to provide loan for tunnel road

  • Nagdhunga-Naubise road
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Japan ‘agrees’ to provide loan for tunnel road

Mar 19, 2015-

Japan has “agreed verbally” to provide loan to Nepal for the construction of the proposed Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road.

According to the Nagdhunga Tunnel Road Project, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is likely to provide the loan at 1 percent interest rate for a period of 40 years.

Rupak Raj Bhandari, a project official, the government and JICA are likely to sign a loan agreement within the next two months.

According to a preliminary study conducted by a JICA-hired consultant, the project is estimated to cost around Rs 15 billion—Rs 12.88 billion for civil construction and around Rs 2 billion for land acquisition.

The project will bore a 2.5-km tunnel under the hills on the western side of the Kathmandu valley and eliminate the winding mountain route which is currently the main access to the Capital.

If things move as per the schedule, the construction will begin within the coming two years and the commercial operation of the project will happen by 2021, according to Physical Infrastructure Secretary Tulsi Prasad Sitaula.

Officials of the government and JICA had recently reached a “gentleman’s agreement” for involving Nepali companies even if the project is developed under the Japanese funding.

According to government authorities, both the parties have agreed that the international contractor winning the construction deal will form a joint-venture with a Nepal-based company and will help transfer technology of developing tunnel and help enhance the capacity of local companies.

Published: 20-03-2015 10:02

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