Kathmandu, October 23
The government is set to carry out detailed feasibility study of six tunnel road projects announced through the fiscal budget 2018-19 with the technical assistance of the government of China, Japan and Switzerland.
Each development partner has been requested to prepare detailed project report (DPR) of two tunnel roads, according to Shreekrishna Nepal, head of the International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division (IECCD) under the Ministry of Finance.
The fiscal budget had announced to carry out detailed feasibility study of six tunnel road projects namely, Tokha-Khahare-Gurgubhanjyang; Siddababa section of Butwal-Palpa road of Siddhartha Highway; Koteshwor-Jadibuti section of Araniko Highway; Khurkot-Chiyabari section of BP Highway; Bipinagar-Khutiya-Dipayal section and Thankot-Chitlang section of
Ganesh Man Singh Road in the current fiscal.
Construction of the first tunnel road of the country, the Naubise-Nagdhunga section of the Prithivi Highway, will begin shortly under the assistance of the Japanese government. The government has requested the government of Japan to prepare the DPR of two additional tunnel roads namely Koteshwor-Jadibuti section of Araniko Highway and Khurkot-Chiyabari section of BP Highway.
Similarly, pre-feasibility study of the Siddababa section of Butwal-Palpa road of Siddhartha Highway has already been carried out under the technical assistance of the Swiss government. “Following the submission of pre-feasibility report of the Siddababa section of Butwal-Palpa road, the government of Switzerland will take forward the detailed study,” according to Nepal. The Swiss government has also been urged to carry out detailed study of Thankot-Chitlang section of
Ganesh Man Singh Road.
The DPR of remaining two tunnel roads, namely, Tokha-Khahare-Gurgubhanjyang and Bipinagar-Khutiya-Dipayal section will be prepared under the assistance of the Chinese government. “We have corresponded with the development partners following their positive response during initial discussions and we can expect the detailed feasibility study and DPR preparation works to begin from this fiscal,” Nepal reiterated.
Nepal further informed that the Finance Ministry has been discussing with both bilateral and multilateral development partners to arrange the resources to finance some mega projects. There have been discussions with bilateral development partners and on subisidised credit from the ExIm banks of Japan, South Korea and India for the East-West Railway project as the DPR of the east-west railway project is expected to be completed by the next one-and-a-half months except for the Nijgadh-Narayangadh section due to issues related to the preservation of plants and wildlife as Parsa Wildlife Reserve and Chitwan National Park are located in this area.
“The government could reach into an agreement with a few development partners for financing the East-West Railway project,” as per Nepal. “The government has given high priority to connectivity projects, including expansion of national highways.”
A version of this article appears in print on October 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.