Environmental factors

Nepal is a country of amazing extremes, having the world’s highest mountain like Mt. Everest, towering above populated valleys and forested plains. It is bounded on the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China; on the east by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union; on the South by Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and on the West by Uttar Pradesh of Indian Union.

Climatically, it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude. The country has three main geographical regions namely Himalayan, mountain and Terai regions.

Nepal’s climate varies with its topography. It has four climatic seasons namely spring, summer, autumn and winter. Both light and warm clothing is recommended. In mountain areas, warm clothes are generally a must but in Kathmandu Valley, warm clothes are not generally recommended due to rapid urbanization and pollution.

Road construction is playing an important role in national development. The last  interim plan (2013/14-2015/16) had set a target of having strategic roads  length 25133 km out of which paved road length  7799 km,  new road construction length 3000 km and 2100 km length road would  be upgraded. Also 310 strategic bridges would be erected and 75 district headquarters would have been connected to the road network. 1609 bridges came into operation. Due to lack of resources and proper implementation of the development programs, Nepal is having acute budget constraints. Most of the roads and highways in the past were built with the assistance of different foreign nations like India, China, USA, Russia and so on. Roads have been mainly classified as National Highways, Feeder Roads, District Roads, Urban Roads and Village roads respectively. Highways and Feeder Roads constitute the Strategic Road Network (SRN).

In the past environmental factors had not been taken into consideration for the purpose of road construction. So the roads are not sustainable or durable. Environmental considerations have been given top priority during the design phase of roads before its construction by the international donor agencies in view of mitigating impacts of road construction on the environment. The construction works in Nepal can be made effective with due consideration of environmental factors through Initial Environment Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment due to its rugged topography.