HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Delay in land acquisition has hit Fast Track construction, according to a sub-committee of parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The sub-committee that was formed to carry out study on Fast Track construction has concluded that land acquisition process has lingered unexpectedly.
Though government had allocated Rs 936.3 million for the land acquisition, only Rs 84 million worth land acquisition has been completed, the report submitted to the PAC said, directing the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works — that has been shouldering the responsibility of construction — to accelerate the land acquisition process and pay compensation to the land owners as soon as possible.
It has asked the ministry to form a separate office in Hetauda to speed up the land acquisition process in Makawanpur district. The report has also suggested Nepal Army to amend its guideline for the construction according to other laws and regulation of the government. “The army should form a technical committee to make relevant changes in its construction guideline, it suggested, recommending it to adopt austerity while hiring equipment while constructing the fast track.
Nepal Army spent Rs 127.9 million except fuel to hire equipment last year alone, the report said. “The amount could have been reduced, had the army brought the equipment itself.”
The sub-committee has also raised questions regarding missing timbers from the construction site. A total of 15,503 cubic feet of timber has been disappeared from the government forest and 2,612 cubic feet of timber has been missing from community forests, the report stated, directing the District Forestry Office to investigate into the disappearances.
The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works had, in 2008, projected a total of Rs 57.09 billion to construct a four-lane Fast Track that will connect the capital city with Tarai plains. Later, it has increased Rs 10 billion in its preliminary estimation to a total of Rs 67 billion to complete the priority project.