ADB survey fast tracks link between Valley and Birgunj

Hetauda, November 9:

The Asian Development Bank has completed the first phase of the survey for the construction of the proposed fast track, which will link the Birgunj dry port and the Kathmandu Valley.

The fast track will wend through Pathlaiya, Neejgarh, Chhatiwan and Godawari of Lalitpur.

A two-kilometre tunnel will be constructed near Kolkhop at Thingan in Makwanpur district.

“The construction work is expected to take five years,” an official involved in the survey said.

“We have collected data on land, which needs to be acquisitioned for the project, and made rough estimates of funds, which we will have to pay to the land-owners,” said the official.

“We are working to form a committee comprising representatives of parties, VDC secretaries and government bodies to determine compensation for land-owners.” The land compensation committees will be formed at the VDC level,” the official said, adding, “We are in the process of acquiring land in the VDCs of Parsa, Bara, Makwanpur and Lalitpur districts.”

The construction of a regional airport in Neejgarh and a link station at Shreepur in Makwanpur are part of the plan. Also planned is the construction of an East-West link station at Karrakhola in Hetauda-8. “The four-lane fast track will have a width of 50 meters,” according to the official.

The Hetauda-Kathmandu stretch of the fast track will have a length of 66 kilometres, while the Kathmandu-Neejgarh stretch will be 76-km long, the official said.

In the budget speech, the Finance Minister, Dr Baburam Bhattarai, had promised to give priority to the fast-track project.

According to the preliminary survey, the project will cost Rs 75 billion. With the project on the horizon, the price of land has shot up.