KATHMANDU, Mar 1: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the government to start work to construct Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway immediately, setting a target of completing the project within five years.
The parliamentary committee took the decision on Tuesday, after holding a meeting with government officials to discuss the progress made by the 76-kilometer expressway that connects Kathmandu with Tarai.
The house panel has asked the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) to prepare work schedule and take decision on Detailed Project Report (DPR) within the current fiscal year.
Though PAC has held discussion on Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) modality of contract to execute the project, it has not made any recommendation on the contract modality.
EPC includes detailed engineering design of the project, procurement of all equipment and necessary materials, and complete construction to deliver a ready to use facility at an agreed fixed price.
Likewise, the PAC has also asked the government to ensure timely project execution for avoid cost overruns in infrastructure projects. The government has also been told to complete acquisition of remaining land for the expressway.
Similarly, the house panel has directed the finance ministry to manage needful resources for the project.
The government has allocated Rs 10 billion for the project in the current fiscal year.
PAC has also told the government to submit progress report of the project every three months.
A study panel led by Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission, Min Bahadur Shrestha, had submitted its report to the Prime Minister last week, recommending that the government build the project on its own as per the EPC modality.
The committee has also recommended to the government to purchase DPR prepared by a group of Indian consulting firms through price negotiation.
Sources say the company has put a price tag of Rs 600 million for the DPR.
The committee has also recommended to the government form a special purpose vehicle to administer the project that is estimated to cost Rs 100 billion.