KMC signs ring-road monorail DPR agreement

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu Metropolitan City on Wednesday signed an agreement with China Railway's 25th Bureau Group Co on preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on a monorail system envisioned to circle 27.5 kilometres of Ring Road in Kathmandu.

City Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya and Zheu Wing, Chief of the Overseas Business Management Department of China Railway's 25th Bureau Group Co, signed the agreement amid a ceremony in the capital.

Earlier, a feasibility study of monorail in Kathmandu was carried out in 2012 but the project could not progress beyond inception due to lack of budget and experts, KMC said.

As of now, the city authority is mulling to initiate other processes pertaining to contract bidding of the project while the Chinese company prepares the DPR over a year.

According to KMC, the Chinese company is expected to include issues of environmental impacts, project implementation phases, design and technical specification of the monorail system and profitability analysis in the report.

A feasibility study on sustainability of the urban transportation system and its management carried out by the same Chinese company for KMC earlier in September showed that a monorail can be operated on a second track of pedestrian route along the Ring Road if government resolves issues of expansion of Ring Road from Gaushala to Chabahil.

On the occasion, KMC Mayor Shakya asserted that operation of monorail would aid in averting air pollution in Kathmandu and also said that no private houses will be dismantled during construction of the infrastructure.

According to Shakya, the monorail would be built as per a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

Lalitpur Metropolitan City Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan said that the monorail, also a political promise made by leaders during elections, has now become a necessary infrastructure in the Valley.

Likewise, China Railway's Overseas Department Chief  Zheu assured that the DPR would be prepared within the stipulated time of a year.

As per the feasibility study, the monorail system should be constructed in three phases -- from Koteshwor to Kalanki in the first phase, Kalanki to Maharajgunj in the second and finally from Maharajgunj to Koteshwor -- with an estimated budget of Rs 116 billion.