Wednesday, 14 April, 2021

Remaining work of Fast Track Project to begin from Nijgadh

File Photo

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Apr. 5: The second phase construction work of Kathmandu-Terai/Madhes Fast Track (Expressway) Project under the management of the Nepali Army is almost certain to begin from Nijgadh section until land compensation disputes seen in Khokana are resolved.
The army has begun the second phase of the project from Nijgadh of Bara district after the land pooling compensation dispute in Khokana area of Lalitpur district could not be resolved.
The project office has promised to begin three tunnels of 6.4 km and 88 bridge construction works by the first week of June, 2021.
"Along with the tunnel work, the army will also begin construction of 22 kilometre road section that begins from Nijgadh without touching the debatable Khokana section," according to Nepali Army spokesperson and Brigadier General Shantosh Ballave Poudyal.
The tunnels will be constructed in three sections (Mahadevtar, Dhedre and Lane Danda) section of Makwanpur district.
The first phase of the international bidding process had been completed in which two companies (China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited and Poly Changda Engineering Company Ltd) had been selected for taking the project ahead, according to the army.
Last week only, the Public Accounts Committee of the Federal Parliament instructed to scrap the International Bidding after the Project Office selected only one company (Poly Changda Engineering Company) despite 22 companies vying for the bidding process for the second package.
The army has informed that the company was selected in a transparent manner based on all required documents. The army has said that the final decision was not taken by only one group but through the selection committee of the NA.
About 443 ropanis of land in Khokana area is yet to be compensated due to the dispute, according to the army spokesperson. Despite the decision made by the government, the land owners are still refusing to accept the compensation.
In order to solve the problem, a committee has been formed under the coordination of the Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commission. Until the problem of Khokana area is resolved, the army will carry out the work from Nijgadh section.
"The work on the tunnel and the bridge will begin from the first week of June if there is no interruption in the work," said Lieutenant Colonel Bishwabandhu Pahadi, Fast Track Project Implementation and Operation Chief. Until the Khokana area's problem resolves, the remaining work will begin from Nijgadh section, he said.
The Nepali Army has so far spent Rs. 17.83 billion on the expressway. Lieutenant Colonel Pahadi claimed that it will be completed in four years if there is no obstacle in further work in the coming days. The army has said that if the tunnel is completed in three and a half years, all other works will be completed in four years.
Along with three two-way tunnels, there will be 88 tall bridges in different locations to connect to the tunnel and highway. The preliminary estimate of the project is Rs. 175 billion.