KATHMANDU, Oct 9: The Kathmandu-Tarai/Madhesh Fast Track project, which is listed as a national pride project, has achieved a very minimum physical progress.
The physical progress of the project, which the government started in the fiscal year 2016/17 with an aim to complete its construction within four years, has been very disappointing.
According to the predetermined schedule, the project should have completed more than two thirds of the construction works as of now. But the project has achieved only 11 percent overall progress.
In three years since the construction of the project kicked off, it has achieved only 11.11 percent overall physical progress. If the work had been carried out as per the pre-determined schedule, more than 70 percent of the construction should have been completed by now.
In the report submitted by Bikash Pokharel, project head of the Kathmandu-Terai-Madhesh Expressway (Fast Track) Road Project to the Development and Technology Committee of the Parliament on Wednesday, it is mentioned that the financial progress of the project is only 9.52 percent. Of the main works, blacktopping the roads, construction of tunnels and bridges has not started yet.
According to the schedule of the first phase, the expressway was to be completed by September 2021. The government had handed over the construction work of the fast track to the Nepal Army (NA). However, the NA has not completed any works so far.
The length of the fast track road connecting Kathmandu to Terai is 72.5 kilometers in which, 55.5 kilometers of roads, 10.59 kilometers of tunnels and 6.41 percent bridges need to be constructed.
According to the project, 72.34 percent of the stone cutting work has been completed, 46.39 percent of the stone and soil filling work, 46.31 percent of the machinery structure and 32 percent of the pipe culvert work has been completed. Even three years after the start of construction of the project, the land acquisition has not been finalized yet.
Pokharel said the preparations are underway to prepare a report after geo-physical work when a consultant for the construction of the tunnel is selected. Under the geo-technical investigation, borehole drilling is taking place in various 18 places including Mahadevtar, Ghedre and Lanedanda. A total of 27 contractors have shown interest in the tunnel construction works.
Although 84 percent of the people in the project affected areas have received the compensation, 16 percent are yet to receive the amount. Of the 5,165 ropani of land in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Makwanpur districts acquired by the project, it has paid compensation for 4,357 ropani. It has not been able to distribute compensation for the remaining 807 ropani land as the locals of Khokana, Lalitpur are refusing to receive it.
The project stated that there is a problem in distribution of compensation of around 165 ropani land in Khokana, Bungmati and Dhukuchhap of Lalitpur. The government has allocated Rs 8.93 billion for the fast track in the current fiscal year. Target has been set to complete the project by fiscal year 2023/24 by dividing the works into 11 clusters.