Kathmandu, October 19
The government is preparing to lay the foundation stone of the much-talked-about 2.69-kilometre-long Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road project on Monday.
Shyam Prasad Kharel, project head of the Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road project, informed that they have completed all the preparatory works for laying the foundation stone.
The government had inked an agreement with Japanese firm, Hazama Ando Corporation, to construct the tunnel project on September 23. As per Kharel, after the foundation stone is laid, the Japanese contractor firm will start the construction works.
Though the construction of the project was expected to start from March, it was delayed due to unresolved issues related to site clearance and land compensation. “We have fully acquired the necessary land for the project in Kathmandu but some landowners still need to be paid compensation for land acquired from them in Dhading district,” informed Kharel.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the development partner of the project and had earlier finalised the evaluation of both the technical and financial proposals that were submitted by the Japanese contractor.
The Department of Roads plans to complete the project by 2021, which is expected to make travelling in and out of Kathmandu Valley a lot easier once it is completed.
JICA is providing loan assistance of $141.41 million to the government for the construction of the tunnel project. The estimated cost of the project hovers around $188.19 million. The remaining cost of the project will be borne by the government. The government has allocated Rs 6.27 billion for the project in the budget for the ongoing fiscal year.
On December 22, 2016, the government had signed a loan agreement for the construction of Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road project with the government of Japan. The Japanese government has extended a loan assistance of 16.63 billion yen (approximately Rs 15.28 billion) to Nepal to implement the aforesaid project. This assistance was announced during the visit of Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi to Nepal in September that year.
A version of this article appears in print on October 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.