Kathmandu, February 22 Lawmakers have demanded the government to expedite the construction of Kathmandu-Tarai fast track road project. Speaking at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today, lawmakers from various political parties urged the government to accelerate the implementation of the project. In response, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak pledged to speed up the project as per the Detailed Project Report prepared by IL&FS, an Indian company. He said the government was preparing to table the proposal based on the recommendations of a committee headed by National Planning Commission Vice Chairman Min Bahadur Shrestha in the Cabinet to seek its approval to expedite the project. Committee President Dor Prasad Upadhyay said the next meeting was expected to discuss the issues of the fast track again and come up with a substantive decision on the matter. Lawmaker Bishnu Poudel stressed the construction of the project should be carried out as per the government policy and programmes and budget speech. “There is concern among the public that the construction cost of the project was relatively high and the government should respond to such concerns.” Another lawmaker Rajan KC said, “An increase in the project’s budget from Rs 96 billion to Rs 112 billion is a matter of concern.” Ramhari Khatiwada said Nepal’s roads were being used as trial and we should be careful on whether the fate of the fast truck would be like that of the BP Highway. Dhanraj Gurung called on the government to see if the project cost could be reduced. MoPIT Secretary Dhan Bahadur Tamang admitted to sluggishness in the implementation of the project. “The project will ultimately be good for the country as it was introduced with the concept of constructing an express route of international standard in the country.” Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track project chief Satyendra Shakya said that earlier the government had decided to implement the project under BOOT (build, own, operate and transfer) model, but later it decided to construct it on its own which is the reason for the delay in the construction. The construction of the project began in fiscal year 2008-09 and the Nepal Army has already completed the task of opening 110 kilometres track for it. Reversing its earlier decision, the government in its policy and programmes for the fiscal year, announced that it would construct the project on its own from the upcoming fiscal year. It promised Rs 10 billion for the project during the budget.
MPs urge govt to accelerate fast track project construction
Published: 03:41 am Feb 23, 2017