October 22, 2016 01:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Oct 22: Land acquisition process for Barhabise Substation has been delayed by more than two and half months because of the government's failure to appoint Chief District Officer in Sindhupalchowk district. Acting CDO Antar Bahadur Silwal is overseeing the District Administration Office since mid-August.
A mega drinking water project that integrates water supply of three major towns of Kavre district - Banepa, Dhulikhel and Panauti - has been affected because of obstruction by locals. Local leaders of major political parties are not showing cooperation to the project.
The Butwal Solid Waste Management Sub-Project is not moving ahead as locals of Charange of Butwal Municipality are not allowing the municipality to use land in their locality to build waste management plant.
These are only a few examples. Implementation of many such projects has been affected because of various problems. These problems were discussed at the joint project review meeting of the Government of Nepal and Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday. All the afore-mentioned projects are funded by ADB.
Altogether 32 ADB-funded projects are in different phases of implementation across the country.
Effort to form Kavre Water Supply Management Board to implement the mega water project has been affected for over a year because Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) have sought equal representations in board like the CPN-UML. Similarly, the solid waste management projects in Tarai region have seen strong opposition by locals and few projects might be canceled, according to ADB officials.
Speaking at the meeting, Secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development, Dipendra Nath Sharma, said that they were unable to sort out issues of the Kavre project despite their repeated efforts. Baikuntha Aryal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Finance, opined that the issue should be resolved at the political level. He further added that his ministry would coordinate with the Ministry of Home Affairs for early appointment of CDO in Sindhupalchowk district to facilitate implementation of the Barhabise Substation project.
Project managers and department heads participated in the review discussions that revisited each project and tried to resolve issues affecting them.
Talking to Republica, Aryal said that issues of political nature should be forwarded to higher authorities.
Speaking at the meeting, ADB Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama pinpointed at least three projects along with reasons. Yokoyama cited significant change of key project staff members behind delay in Community-managed Irrigated Agriculture Project. He also said the contractor is not responsive to notice to correct mistakes in Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project, calling for serious discussion for possible contract termination.
Yokoyama also raised the issue of delayed approval for aggregates extraction that has been affecting the Gautam Buddha International Airport.
ADB, however reported that the disbursement has improved significantly in the first three quarters in tunnel work of Melamchi Water Supply Project, procurement process of Marshyangdi and Kaligandaki Corridor transmission lines projects, and pipeline laying work of Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Improvement Projects.