Govt to expand Thankot-Mugling road

Kathmandu, October 17

With an aim to ease the traffic congestion in one of the country’s busiest road sections, the government is gearing up to expand the 96-kilometre-long Thankot to Mugling road section into four lanes.

The Department of Roads (DoR) is preparing to expand the section of Prithvi Highway from next year.

Arjun Jung Thapa, chief of Foreign Cooperation Branch at DoR, said that DoR is preparing to issue a tender for the project in January. “We plan to complete the loan agreement with the donor agency and finalise works related to awarding the contract by December.”

The department is preparing to sign a loan agreement with World Bank for the purpose and the bank has already agreed to invest around Rs 20 billion in the project.

As per Thapa, they plan to complete road expansion work within three years from inking the pact with the selected contractor. The department had prepared the detailed project report in August 2018 and environment impact assessment (EIA) was completed this year.

However, as the World Bank has revised the guidelines of EIA, the DoR is revisiting the earlier EIA report to make it compliant with the changes.

“We have already negotiated with the Work Bank to obtain a credit line to execute the project,” Thapa said.

At present, DoR is studying ‘rate of return’ in the project.

As per the DPR, sections of the highway that cannot be widened due to the difficult terrain will be left as it is. The project will build bypasses across the Trishuli River that flows alongside the highway to get around such bottlenecks.

“We will expand the road to four lanes wherever possible. In parts where it is not possible, we will build bypasses across Trishuli River. Also, two new bridges will be built to facilitate crossing the river,” Thapa said.

As per DPR, three to four bypasses with a combined length of 25 km will need to be built to overcome the bottlenecks.

Moreover, DoR is also planning to expand certain road sections in core city areas into six-lane and to build some overhead bridges.

“The existing bridges will also need to be replaced or repaired. As per a report of a consultant, a total of 24 existing as well as new bridges will have to be built in the Thankot-Mugling section.”

As per Thapa, the contractor will be accountable for repair works and maintenance of the road for five years after the project is handed over to the government. “The defect liability period will be included in the contract agreement.”

The Mugling-Narayanghat road has already been improved as per Asian Highway standard with financial assistance of World Bank last year.