Kathmandu, October 14
The Nepali Army (NA) has shortlisted six international contractor companies for construction of 62 high-arch bridges along the 76.2-kilometre-long Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track today.
The NA had called a global tender bid to submit the proposal for the construction of the bridges on April 5. It had asked the interested companies to submit their proposals based on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model.
According to NA, five Chinese firms and one Turkish construction company have been selected in the initial phase. The shortlisted companies are China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd; Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group Company Ltd; China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation; COVEC-CREGC Joint Venture and Longjian Road and Bridge Co Ltd of China, and Dogus Insaat Ve Ticaret AS & Makyol Insaat Sanayi Turizm Ve Ticaret AS Joint Venture of Turkey.
“As per our tender notice, the company that has been selected will be responsible for building 62 bridges out of the 99 bridges. The remaining bridges will be built by the NA,” informed Brigadier General Gokul Bhandari, spokesperson for NA.
As per Nepali Army, the selected firm will be responsible for the design, planning, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the high-arch bridges.
According to Bhandari, NA will further study the technical and financial proposals of the six shortlisted companies and will soon select the best company.
The NA had decided to award the contract to conduct the detailed project report (DPR) of the Fast Track to a South Korean joint venture company called Yooshin and Pyunghwa on September 19. The Korean joint venture company has said it will submit the DPR by February next year. The project is expected to be completed four years after the DPR has been submitted.
“We have almost finished the process of cutting the trees along the alignment of the Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track,” informed Bhandari.
Due to opposition from the local Newari community, the alignment of the Fast Track had to be changed and the Nepali Army had proposed a route via Farsidol of Lalitpur. The proposed new alignment will pass through Farsidol, which is five kilometres south from the previously selected route that was via Khokana and Bungamati. However, the government has not yet decided on NA’s proposal.
The Nepali Army has been assigned the full responsibility to construct the Fast Track project, which it has segregated into three segments. Out of the 76.2-kilometre-long expressway, it plans to construct 17 km on its own, hire dependable Nepali contractors for 37 km of the stretch and sign up foreign contractors for the remaining 22.2 km of tunnel and bridge sections.
A version of this article appears in print on October 15, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.