Govt told to pull out all stops for Galchhi road

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The panel has asked the government to draw a concrete plan of the road that goes up to China

Jan 7, 2016-The parliamentary Development Committee on Wednesday directed the government to declare the Galchhi-Rasuwagadhi road an “Emergency Road Corridor” and fast-track its upgradation work.

The panel has asked the Office of the Prime Minister, Council of Ministers and Ministry of Defence to draw a concrete plan of the road that goes up to the northern border with China.  “The committee wants the Defence Ministry to take the lead in developing the concrete plan. The government should ensure that there is no issue regarding coordination between government agencies and availability of budget and resources,” said the committee.

“Likewise, there are several issues hindering its development that should be addressed by the Cabinet immediately.”The House panel said that since the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), Initial Environment Evaluation (IEE), land acquisition, distribution of compensation and forest clearance could delay the project, it should be declared a “special project” and implemented through a one-door mechanism.

Considering the need to clear and widen the Galchhi-Rasuwagadhi road, the committee has directed the government to provide dynamite from under-construction hydropower projects. “The road project should get explosives held by hydropower projects,” it said.

The Development Committee had submitted a report to Parliament last November recommending that the 36-km Galchhi-Betrawati road be upgraded to two lanes and black-topped. It had also urged the Department of Roads to fast-track the process of choosing a consultant and making the design for widening the 28-km Betrawati-Mailung-Syabrubeshi road into two lanes.

A section of the road being built by a hydropower project should be handed over to the Nepal Army, and the department should upgrade it, the committee stated.

The House panel has also urged the government to speed up land acquisition on the Syabrubeshi-Rasuwagadhi section by declaring an emergency. The Betrawati-Dhunche-Rasuwagadhi road should be declared as an alternative road, and 15 metres of land on either side should be acquired to widen it, the committee said.

It has directed the government to mobilize the Nepal Army for opening major road tracks connecting Nepal and China. “Given the geographical ruggedness and challenges of completing a big task in a short period of time, the government should mobilize the Nepal Army to achieve faster progress,” the committee said.

Published: 07-01-2016 09:21

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