Infrastructure projects under ADB continue during pandemic
KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 1
Infrastructure projects being developed with assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB) have continued even during this critical period of COV- ID-19 pandemic.
Implementing the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), all the projects have been continued and are rapidly achieving work progress. While other development projects have been halted due to the pandemic, ADB had prepared SOP and directed all the project implementation firms to conduct a quick survey between July 21 and 23 to continue the projects, informed Senior Environment Officer of ADB, Dipak Bahadur Singh.
“Arranging safe environment for the workers and contractors, all the projects have been continued by adopting necessary precautions,” he said, “The projects have also followed all the directives and protocols of the Nepal government and international firms.”
He provided the update during ‘Webinar on managing the COVID-19 risks in the development projects’ organised by Society of Economic Journalists Nepal (SEJON) today.
Meanwhile, Suman Sharma, secretary at Ministry of Finance, said that preparing SOP and implementing it effectively are crucial for giving continuity to development projects. “The government had directed to work safely however no specific protocol had been issued. Thus, this is a good practice of continuing work following the SOP,” he said, “As the SOP prepared by ADB has given good results, it has conveyed a good message to the market.”
He further stressed on replacing foreign workers in construction projects with local workers.
According to Central Bureau of Statistic, a total of Rs 488 billion has been invested on construction projects during 2019-20 fiscal year. Currently there are 1.7 million workers engaged in the construction sector, of which 300,000 receive monthly salary. However due to the COVID-19, most of them have received only 50 per cent salary. Meanwhile, remaining daily wage earners have lost their jobs.