Smooth ride

The approval of the much-awaited North-South Fast Track along the Bagmati river will cut the distance between Kathmandu and Tarai down to 82 km. The cabinet recently approved the Kathmandu-Nijhgudh highway proposal out of the three submitted to it by the Department of Roads (DoR). With the completion of the Fast Track, the travel time between Kathmandu and Tarai will be reduced to two from the current eight hours. The project, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with an initial budget of Rs 20 million, has already been approved in the annual programme of the DoR and currently the bidding process is going on. Other major road projects that the DoR is planning are Dharan-Katari-Hetauda, Dang-Rolpa-Rukum road, Karnali Corridor road and Gorkha-Kilo Barpak road.

Roads are the lifelines of any country, especially a country with as much physical diversity as Nepal. Only through the roads can the rich fruits of development reach the people who need them the most. Moreover, short and convenient road transport is a great help both to the common commuters and businessmen living and plying their trade by and around the roads. It has been seen that places with better road access prosper faster owing to great movement of basic commodities. Such short routes will also save the country a lot of money as fuel consumption will go down. And yet, what remains to be seen is whether the project is completed on time.