DoR calls tender for construction of first tunnel road

Kathmandu, August 13

The government has called a global tender for the construction of much-hyped 2.69-kilometre-long Nagdhunga to Naubise tunnel project. The Department of Roads (DoR) had published a tender notice for this project on August 9.

The DoR has given a deadline of October 10 for national and international bidders to submit their technical and financial proposals.

“Since our loan and development partner, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has approved our final proposal of the tunnel project, we issued the tender notice,” informed Sanjaya Kumar Shrestha, deputy director general at DoR.

Shrestha mentioned that the bid process and land acquisition procedure will be finalised within January 10 next year.

“As per JICA’s working schedule, we will start constructing the tunnel, which will have two lanes on either side of tunnel road project and will be 9.5 metres wide each by January 2019 and we expect to complete it by 2021.”

As per the tender notice, the bidders will have to follow the provisions of the standard bidding documents under the Japanese official development assistance (ODA) loans for the procurement of works. The bidders will also have to deposit $2 million as bid security.

JICA will provide an estimated loan assistance worth $141.41 million to Nepal for construction of the Nagdhunga to Naubise tunnel project. The estimated cost of the project hovers at around $188.19 million. The agreement for the loan assistance was signed by Nepali and Japanese government representatives in December, 2016. The loan is being granted at 0.01 per cent interest rate with a payback period of 40 years and has a possible grace period of an additional 10 years.

This project — the first tunnel road project in the country — will be developed using cutting-edge technology from Japan.

According to Shrestha, the DoR will open the sealed bids on October 10. The selected contractor will have to build one intersection and one interchange on Tribhuvan Highway, seven bridges and 11 box-culverts, toll-gate facilities, traffic monitoring/control and maintenance office building, disposal area development (construction of roadside service station), transmission line and other works.

The government will be acquiring 267 ropanis of land in Nagdhunga area of Kathmandu and 109 ropanis of land in Dhading district for the project.

At present, the Nagdhunga-Naubise section of the Tribhuvan Highway is highly congested as Nagdhunga is the main entry and exit point of the Capital. The tunnel road project will shorten the 14-km distance of the section to 2.69 km after completion of the tunnel.

The contractor of the project will be selected under the principle of international competitive bidding process.

“We will be asking interested parties to submit both their technical and financial proposals simultaneously as per the principle of international competitive bidding process. We will only look into the technical proposals and examine if all the technical criteria have been fulfilled,” informed Shrestha. “The financial proposals will be forwarded to the Financial Comptroller General Office and it will only look into the financial proposal of the company, which has been selected through the technical study.”