National road network expands by 849 kilometres

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 29, 2017-

The country’s network of blacktopped roads has expanded to 12,305 km with the addition of 132 km in the first eight months of the fiscal year, an economic survey report released by the government on Sunday reveals.

Likewise, 405 km of gravel roads were added while 312 km of new tracks were developed in the second quarter of fiscal 2016-17. Following the expansion, there are 6,865 km of gravel roads and 9,987 km of newly opened roadway tracks.

“We have achieved substantial progress in road construction in the ongoing fiscal year,” Rajesh Kumar Singh, deputy spokesperson for the Department of Roads, told the Post. The data released by the economic survey reflects the progress achieved by the department as of the second quarter only so it looks small, he added.

Singh said that construction of roads generally gathers pace from mid-February to mid-May. Likewise, issues related to awarding contracts and disbursing funds play

a crucial role in road development.   

In the fiscal year 2015-16, a total of 639 km of new tracks were opened. The figure stands at 312 km in the first eight months of the ongoing fiscal year. Similarly, blacktopping was done on 264 km of roads in the last fiscal while blacktopping was done on 132 km during the review period this fiscal year.

As for gravel roads, 345 km of gravel roads were constructed in the fiscal year 2015-16 while the figure as of the second quarter of the current fiscal year is 405 km.    

“The construction of 849 km roads in eight months is quite encouraging. This shows that the capital spending capacity of the government and the process of awarding contracts has improved in the ongoing fiscal year,” said Surya Raj Chary, public policy and infrastructure expert.

While Acharya lauded the progress achieved in developing gravel roads as upgrading them isn’t a difficult task, he feels that the progress achieved in blacktopping roads isn’t up to the mark.

According to the report prepared by the Ministry of Finance, the country’s road network has been developed under various programmes initiated by the government.

The government report shows that the network of main roads, village roads and city roads has reached 8,148 km in the Himalayan region, 31,988 km in the hilly region and 17,864 km in the Tarai. The figure includes all kinds of roads.

Published: 29-05-2017 08:45

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