Print Edition - 2015-11-28 | MONEY
Lack of fuel, materials halts construction
- infrastructure development
Construction projects, both small and big, have come to a complete halt due to shortages of fuel and construction materials
Nov 28, 2015-
The government had declared in its White Paper that the construction of key hydropower projects would be stepped up immediately, but lack of fuel has made the plan a non-starter.
The White Paper issued on Tuesday has mentioned speeding up the Upper Tamakoshi and Chameliya hydro projects, facilitating privately developed schemes and developing solar energy projects with a capacity of 200 MW.
The document has admitted that the fuel crisis has stalled the construction of Upper Tamakoshi and prevented solar energy and biogas plants from being built despite the great demand. According to the White Paper, almost all the mega development projects have run into obstructions due to lowered domestic production and imported construction materials being stuck at the border.
Construction work at Gautam Buddha International Airport, Sikta Irrigation Project, Rani-Jamara-Kular-iya Irrigation Project, Tamak-oshi Hydroelectricity Project, Chameliya Hydroelectricity Project and Melamchi Drinking Water Supply Project has been badly affected. Likewise, Hulaki Highway, Pushpalal (Midhill) Highway, trade highways, north-south highways and Kathmandu City Road Expansion Project have made no progress. The construction of private homes, industrial business houses, shopping malls, hospitals and school buildings has also ground to a halt.
“The construction business has not secured any contracts as the government has stopped publishing tender notices,” said the White Paper. “This will lead to cost overruns for ongoing government and private projects.”
Government officials said that all the construction projects, both small and big, had come to a complete halt due to shortages of fuel and construction materials.
Rabindra Nath Shrestha, joint secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, said it would not be possible to resume construction work unless fuel and construction materials became easily available.
He added that it was necessary to re-prioritize the projects, and that fuel should be provided only to critically important projects such as Upper Tamakoshi and improvement of quake-damaged roads linking China.
A senior official at the Prime Minister’s Office said that supply constraints had hit development activities.
Speaking at the Local Donors’ Meeting held at the Finance Ministry on Wedne-sday, donors have asked the government to supply fuel to the projects they have funded.
Published: 28-11-2015 09:12