A ‘Detailed Project Report’ (DPR) of Kathmandu-Terai Expressway, a national pride project will be submitted to the cabinet by the Ministry of Defence. The DPR, although completed and submitted in March, 2019 is being re-submitted with certain reviews.
The national pride project, a fast-track expressway connecting Kathmandu to the Terai is a mega highway project. The government of Nepal has entrusted its construction with Nepal Army. According to NA, the expressway will be ‘”exemplary state of the art of civil construction” in South Asia. NA also believes this Expressway will be the genesis for a huge socio-econmic development in Nepal.”
Nepali Army had awarded the project’s DPR to South Korean Soosung and Engineering Company Limited. NA had submitted the DPR to the Ministry of Defence on March 16, 2019 for its endorsement from the cabinet, however a cabinet approval was not granted.
The NA has said that it was going to construct the project through ‘Build and Design Model’ under which the international contractors will have to prepare the design of the respective project’s tunnels and bridges under the given models. The four-year project was handed over to the NA on May 4, 2017 by the government, the Physical Infrastructure Ministry also handed over the projects to NA on August 11, 2017 for completion of the project. NA had four years to handover the project – it now has only two left.
According to the NA Headquarters, it will take one and half years to complete the current field work of cutting, filling and wall construction work. For taking the tunnel and bridge construction works ahead, six international companies have already been short-listed. Among them, two companies will be awarded the task. After short-listing, one company will be given tunnel project and another the bridge construction work, he said.
NA has also said that no further work towards tunnel and bridge construction could be moved ahead if the Cabinet did not endorse the DPR. According to NA, among the total 87 bridges, 16 will be of international standards. The total bridges’ length will be 10.59 km and three tunnels’ length would be 6.41 kilometres. Except the total length of the tunnel and bridges, there would be a total of 55.5 km road section. That means, the total length of the whole project is 72.5 kilometres. The travel distance of the fast track is 1 hour 2 minute and 22 seconds.
According to the headquarters, land compensation to 10,733 ropanis of land in Khokana and tunnel construction site is yet to be provided.
Earlier the project cost was estimated at Rs. 112 billion. But in March, NA said the project would cost an additional 111 billion – taking the entire project’s cost at 213 billion.