Construction of Naghdungha-Sisne Khola tunnel from Dhading side to begin
February 29, 2020 11:49 AM NPT
By: RUDRA KHADKA
Sketch of the Nagdhunga-Sisne Khola tunnel. Photo: Republica
KATHMANDU, Feb 29: The construction of the Nagdhunga-Sisne Khola tunnel from the Dhading side is expected to begin soon. The construction work was halted for the past two months.
According to Shyam Prasad Kharel, project head of Nagdhunga Tunnel Construction Project, the meeting held on Thursday agreed to start the construction of the tunnel. “Discussion between project officials and the local residents led to an agreement to start the construction work from Friday,” he said.
Conflict on the issue of compensation had halted the construction work of the tunnel from the Dhading side for the past two months. The contractor of the project had sent letters to the project office time and again for site clearance as the local residents had been obstructing further work.
Due to the disagreement with the locals, the project had not been able to use 17 ropani of land even after the compensation for the land was distributed. The project had agreed to occupy 44 ropani of land from the Kathmandu side and 66 ropani of land from the Dhading side for the construction of the tunnel.
According to the project officials, all compensation have been provided for land occupied in Kathmandu whereas 27 ropani of land in Dhading have not been provided compensation yet. “We were in trouble when we could not work in the land for which compensation was already distributed,” said Kharel. All land of the Dhading side belongs to a guthi.
Locals who are residing in the land have demanded full compensation from the government. But the law has provision to provide 33% of the compensation to those who have used the land of guthi.
As per the project, they are also willing to provide more than 33% to those who are using the land but the government has to take an official decision and also clear the road.
According to the project officials, the Japanese contractor, Hajma Ando Corporation had sent letters time and again for site clearance. The project completion date is expected to be affected due to the delay in the project. The project office estimates the cost to increase as the contractor company may seek compensation for the delay in the project.
The tunnel project was started with the loan assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on November 14. JICA has agreed to provide Rs 16 billion for the construction of the tunnel. The length of the tunnel will be 2.7 kilometers.