KATHMANDU: Lawmakers were found divided on the modality of constructing the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track - whether to allocate the responsibility to foreign company or to the government itself. At a meeting of the Development Committee under the Legislature-Parliament today, some lawmakers pointed out the need of constructing the national pride project by the government itself while some other lawmakers opined for allocating the responsibility to foreign companies by putting strong conditions so that the project could be constructed within five years. Lawmaker Ganesh Pahadi stressed on the need of making clear provision on the modality of the project’s construction. Lawmaker Bhakta Bahadur Khapangi urged to construct the project by the government itself as such projects were confined in the paper for past 20 years. Similarly, Lawmakers Lali Jung Shahi, Lal Bahadur Ale, Shiva Ji Yadav and Amarsing Pun said that the project should be constructed by the government itself within five years even allocating twenty billion budget annually. However, lawmaker Ram Krishna Ghimire said that the construction responsibility should be given to foreign company by formulating strong condition. In the meeting, lawmakers Atahar Kamal Musalman, Keshav Kumar Budhathoki, Prakash Sharma Poudel, Guru Prasad Burlakoti and Prem Bahadur Ale expressed their views on making all preparations before running the project. Minister Nidhi said that the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport would sign agreement with an Indian construction company, ILS &FS, after a decision of the Council of Ministers. Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) in 1993 had carried out the pre-feasibility study of the project. The Nepalese Army had handed over the fast-track to the government in the last of 2012. The government has set a target to complete construction works of the Kathmandu-Tarai-Madhes fast-track within the next five years at a cost of Rs 112 billion. Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management, Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, informed the Development Committee that the project would be forwarded keeping the welfare of the country at the centre along with the provision of charging fine if works are not carried out as per the agreement. Stating that the project is going to be forwarded as per the standard of Asian highway, Sitaula said that they have set a target to construct a model highway with the focus on expanding it into a six-lane road in the days ahead. Chief of the Fast-track Project Satyendra Shakya said no stone would be left unturned to make the 76-kilometre-long track into an ultramodern highway. He said that the project was being assigned to the Indian company with the condition that it will face action if it was found not fulfilling its responsibility and carrying out sub-standard works. According to him, Rs 34 billion is estimated as the cost for the construction of road, Rs 36 billion for bridges, seven billion rupees for the tunnel, Rs 17 billion for cutting and drain construction, Rs 670 million for electrification, Rs 220 million for toad furniture, Rs 580 million for information centre, Rs 1.18 million for intersection, Rs 13 billion as VAT and the rest as miscellaneous cost. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 112 billion. The committee has issued directive to the Ministry concerned to immediately carry ahead the project works keeping the national interest at the centre and following the committee’s past directives. Committee chairman Rabindra Adhikari said that the government, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the Ministry of Finance and the National Planning Commission have been instructed to start the project works in a result-oriented manner and with accountability to the public concerns.
Lawmakers divided on fast track constructing modality
Published: 04:50 pm Jul 30, 2015