KATHMANDU, July 14: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed grave concern over 'slow implementation' of the ADB-funded development projects in Nepal.
ADB high officials expressed this worry in the Tripartite Portfolio Review Meeting of the development projects implemented with the loan or grant assistance provided by it here today.
Among the key portfolio challenges identified in the Meeting are: Weak project management capacity of executing/implementing agencies; Delays in procurement and disbursement; High risk in procurement and contract administration; Poor contractor and consultant performance; and Weak inter-agency coordination.
It pointed out the challenges related to environment/forest clearance, land acquisition, aggregates and coordination with other utilities. The Meeting also recommended various actions for addressing these challenges.
ADB Country Director for Nepal, Kenichi Yokoyama said the last year's Meeting had determined 22 action plans for the expeditious implementation of four projects in the energy sector but only 11 of them were implemented. These projects missed seven targets and four action plans were not complied to, he pointed out.
Similarly, he discussed the status of projects in the water and other urban infrastructures, transport, education, agriculture, natural resources and rural development sectors, pointing out that the performance of these projects was not as targeted.
He expressed concern over the halt in the Tribhuvan International Airport expansion project due to the lack of soil for filling, adding that the project management was also weak.
The project has been hampered after the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) filed a case at the Special Court against the government's decision citing it could not provide the soil required for the airport expansion project.
In the meeting, officials of the bodies concerned from Nepal acknowledged that the pace of implementation of the development projects could not be speeded up due to domestic and external reasons. They said they have given special emphasis to inter-ministry coordination and cooperation in carrying out the projects.
Projects under implementation with ADB's loan and grant assistance include the Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project, the South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, Electricity Transmission Expansion and Supply Improvement Project, the Tanahu Hydroelectricity Project, Nepal Energy Sector Reform Project, the Melamchi Water Supply Project, the Kathmandu Valley Wastewater Management, the Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Improvement, the Integrated Urban Development and Urban Environment Improvement Project, the Road Network Expansion Project, the Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project, the School Sector Development Project and the Skill Development Project, the Decentralized Rural Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project and the Capital Market and Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement Project, among others. RSS