Kathmandu, October 12
The Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament has directed the government to take prompt action to move forward national pride projects (NPPs), most of which are running behind schedule.
After holding discussions with senior government officials and members of National Planning Commission (NPC) — the apex planning body of the government — the House panel directed the government to take swift action to complete the pride projects.
The parliamentary committee pointed out that work progress of pride projects like Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track, Pokhara Regional International Airport, Bhairahawa International Airport, Nijgadh Airport, Postal Highway and North-South Highway (Karnali, Kaligandaki and Koshi Corridor) is unsatisfactory.
“Progress of most of the projects is very sluggish against the set target. The government and other concerned authorities should take prompt action to rectify this situation,” Rabindra Adhikari, chairman of the committee, said. He also said that the anti-graft bodies like Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority should also seriously look into the reasons behind slow progress of development projects.
Similarly, the House panel also directed the government to provide necessary budget to the pride projects to ensure their progress is not hindered due to resource constraints. “We have heard that the pride projects that are prioritised by the government are not getting the required budget and other supplementary support on time,” Adhikari said.
The parliamentary committee also expressed concerns that Melamchi Drinking Water Project, which is supposed to be completed within April 15, 2018, may be delayed. The House panel also directed the project to publish the actual progress and do the necessary to bring water from Melamchi River to the Valley within aforementioned deadline.
Likewise, the House panel also directed the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) to finalise the detailed project reports (DPRs) of proposed four smart cities in the Kathmandu Valley. The MoUD has proposed to construct four smart cities in four directions — east, west, north and south — of the Valley within five years and it has begun the consultant selection process to finalise the DPRs of the cities.
The House panel also drew the attention of Ministry of Finance and other ministries that have been allocated large chunk of development budget to ramp up their expenditure, while ensuring quality works. “The average capital expenditure in the last 10 years has been below 70 per cent, so the ministries related to development and finance ministry should come up with practical ways to increase capital expenditure, while not compromising on the quality of development works,” Adhikari said.
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.