Kathmandu, April 9
The government’s plan to start construction of the much-hyped 2.69-km-long Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel in January has been delayed due to the lengthy process in evaluating the technical and financial proposals submitted by the six shortlisted contractors. The tunnel is expected to make travelling in and out of Kathmandu Valley a lot easier.
The Department of Roads (DoR) has said it has evaluated the technical proposals submitted by the six shortlisted firms and forwarded the documents to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the development partner of the project.
Likewise, the DoR has also evaluated and submitted the financial proposals to JICA.
As per agreement, it is the responsibility of JICA to finalise both technical and financial proposals.
Shyam Prasad Kharel, chief of the tunnel project, said it will take another one month to finalise the financial proposal. “JICA is evaluating the financial proposals of the six contractors at present and we are waiting for its approval to move ahead with the project.”
Kharel added they have now set a target to finish the paperwork by May and start construction thereafter.
On October 25 last year, six international construction firms had submitted their tender documents to DoR for the construction of the tunnel project. Among them, five are Chinese firms and one is a Japanese company.
JICA will be providing loan assistance of $141.41 million to the government for construction of the tunnel project.
The estimated cost of the project hovers at around $188.19 million. The remaining cost of the project will be borne by the government.
As per Kharel, the process to acquire 431 ropanis of land for the project is underway. DoR plans to complete the project by 2021.
A version of this article appears in print on April 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.