Much-awaited Nagdhunga tunnel construction begins amid COVID-19 crisis

A view of an under construction site of Nagdhung tunnel at Sisnekhola in Dhading district, on Monday, September 07, 2020. Photo: Keshav Adhikari/THT
A view of an under construction site of Nagdhung tunnel at Sisnekhola in Dhading district, on Monday, September 07, 2020. Photo: Keshav Adhikari/THT

DHADING: Amid COVID-19 crisis, construction work at the much-awaited Nagdunga tunnel connecting Sisnekhola in Dhading with Kispidi in Thankot has gained momentum.

Director General Arjun Jung Thapa at Department of Roads (DoR) said digging of the tunnel from both sides in Dhading and Kathmandu has started in recent days.

"We could achieve a breakthrough within a year if there won't be any disturbances at the construction site," Thapa shared. The tunnel will stretch as far as 2.7 kilometres with 12 metre-width and eight-metres height.

The construction which should have started last year was delayed due to land acquisition issues, site clearance, land compensation dispute, COVID-19, crisis among others. The project was further delayed as Nepal Army also did not grant permission to import explosives materials.

Japan's Hajma Ando Corporation was awarded the contract for Rs 13.5 billion for the construction of project the completion of which was due within 42 months. However the project was delayed due to aforementioned causes.

The project was further delayed after Nepal Army also did not grant permission to import explosives materials.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone of the project on November 10, 2019.