Construction of Nagdhunga-Naubise road tunnel in offing

Kathmandu, January 12

The construction process of Nagdhunga-Naubise road tunnel project is likely to start soon after the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) approves the final design.

“We are studying the design of the project and it is in the final stage. I think MoPIT will approve it very soon, after which the construction process will start,” Rajendra Raj Sharma, spokesperson for MoPIT, informed.

The detailed project report and the detailed design of the 2.6-kilometre-long tunnel project were completed by the Japanese firm Nippon Koei.

As per Sharma, there are no major obstacles in commencing the project now. “The acquisition process of the required land is almost complete. So far we have not faced any problems to begin the project,” he stated.

The government had allocated Rs 5.54 billion to prepare the design and initiate the construction of the project through the annual budget of the current fiscal year.

The government had signed a loan agreement with the Japanese government to construct the project on December 22, 2016. As per the agreement, Japan will provide Rs 18 billion in soft loan to construct the project.

The loan has a payback period of 40 years, with interest rate fixed at 0.01 per cent. The government will get additional 10 years as grace period if it is unable to repay the loan within the deadline.

As per the expectation of the government, traffic pressure on the Thankot-Naubise route — the busiest entry point to Kathmandu Valley — will be managed after completion of the tunnel and the travelling distance and time will also be slashed.

The government is planning to complete the project within 2022.