That much easier

The long-envisioned fast track road linking Kathmandu and Pathlaiya is finally seeing the light of the day with Oriental Consultants Japan starting a 10-month detailed feasibility study of the project in April with the help of Asian Development Bank grant of $850,000. The focus of the studies are four probable fast track routes between the two venues, the longest of which is 100 km, way below the current distance of 270-km between Kathmandu and Pathlaiya. The project, if implemented, will see commuting time plummet to two-three hours from seven hours it takes at present.

The government has rightly given the project, first envisioned in 1974, top slot in the list of its priorities for it might prove to be a great boon for common passengers, businessmen and transporters alike. For far too long, commuters have had to needlessly wind their way through nearly half the Western territories to travel to any venue in the East. This has made travel expensive for common people and caused a significant hike in price of goods ferried along the East-West highway. In this context, the fast track will, beside making travel for ordinary Nepalis so much more easier, provide a new stimulus to East-West and Indo-Nepal trade. The project has been long time in coming. The government should waste no time in implementing it as soon as the feasibility study is completed in March 2008.