Kathmandu, June 1
Although the Nepali Army has opened more than 1,000 kilometres of tracks at difficult terrains, it is the first time that the NA is going to construct the entire Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track, one of the national pride projects.
In the past, the Nepali Army had opened tracks and handed them over to the Department of Roads for blacktopping.
Only recently, the Nepali Army opened Mailung-Syaphrubesi track in Rasuwa and handed it over to the government. However, the fast track is something different as it is a 72-km four-lane expressway, which the Nepali Army will have to construct within four years.
If the NA constructs this road within four years, people can travel from Kathmandu to Nijgadh within an hour, much faster than today when the travel time for this distance is between eight and 10 hours.
“We are working hard to complete the project within the stipulated time frame,” said NA Spokesperson Gokul Bhandari.
The Nepali Army has already opened a seven-kilometre track from the Bara side. They have already established 10 camps along the track to facilitate construction. According to Bhandari, out of 10 camps, five are permanent and five temporary.
“We have felled trees along the five-kilometre section near Lane Danda and distributed them to locals as per laws,” Bhandari said. The Nepali Army is also planning to fell trees in Budune.
The Nepali Army has mobilised as many as 28 contractors and 19 of them are working.
Bhandari said three contractors had not been able to start their work because it was not yet clear about the zero point in Khokana, Lalitpur.
As per the earlier plan, the fast track will pass through Khokana and the government has already provided compensation to land owners in the nearby areas. But the government is in a dilemma as it will have to demolish some old monuments in the area. If the government decides to shift the zero point, the fast track will have to be moved to Farsidole.
Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel recently visited Khokana and discussed the matter with the locals.
The Nepali Army is going to start fast-track construction in Lalitpur after the government decides which of the two places — Khokana and Farsidole — will be the zero point.
Bhandari said that the NA has listed 17 consultant companies to prepare Detailed Project Report. “Out of 17 consultant companies, 16 are foreign companies,” Bhandari said.
“We will conduct a study and finalise the consultant for preparing the Detailed Project Report,” added Nepali Army Spokesperson Bhandari.
A version of this article appears in print on June 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.