China awaits design approval of second phase of Ring Road expansion project
Kathmandu, December 15
The Chinese government has said that it is waiting for approval of the detailed project design of the second phase of Ring Road expansion project. The Chinese team has asked the Department of Roads (DoR) to approve the design at the earliest.
“The Chinese team has frequently asked the DoR to finalise the detailed project design as soon as possible,” said Ramesh Kumar Singh, joint spokesperson for DoR. According to him, the Chinese team had sought approval from the DoR to start works of the second phase of Ring Road expansion project in October, which includes upgradation of the 8.2-kilometre long stretch linking Kalanki with Maharajgunj.
According to the plan, the 8.2-km stretch will be widened to 50 metres and will comprise an eight-lane road along with additional six-metre wide lanes on both sides of the road for easy pedestrian movement.
The project is being funded through Chinese assistance.
“The approval has been delayed as we need to hold more consultations before we implement the second phase because we have received a lot of criticism regarding pedestrian safety, various fly-overs and the underpass in the first phase which included the Koteshwor-Kalanki section,” informed Singh.
Meanwhile, the Department of Roads has already started discussions with concerned stakeholders over the second detailed project design. “The Chinese team at present is waiting for the approval of the second detailed project design report that includes issues related to pedestrian safety and wheel-chair friendly road concept,” Singh added. “The government will soon approve the design to accelerate the project as per plan.”
Once the department approves the detailed design of the road, the Chinese side will start the construction by appointing a contractor. Earlier, the Chinese team had asked the government to remove electricity poles and pipes supplying drinking water and cut down trees that fall under the stretch.
Moreover, the Chinese government has said it will be constructing an underpass each at Maharajgunj Chowk and Koteshwor like the one that has been constructed in Kalanki. This is expected to ease the traffic woes in these two respective junctions.
Meanwhile, the Nepal Electricity Authority and Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd have started to remove their respective structures lying on the right of way of the road.
The Chinese government meanwhile has already completed the upgradation works of the Koteshwor-Kalanki section under the first phase of the project, which will soon be formally inaugurated.