Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road to be completed in 42 months
October 22, 2019 12:28 PM NPT
By: Muna Sunuwar
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli lays foundation stone for construction of Nagdhunga-Naubise Tunnel at Tutepakha, near Nagdhunga Pass, in Kathmandu on Monday.
KATHMANDU, Oct 22: The government has planned to complete the construction of Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road within 42 months, as announced during the foundation laying ceremony of Nagdhunga Tunnel Construction Project at Chandragiri in Kathmandu on Monday by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Oli said that the government was also working on other tunnel projects including Tokha-Chhahare and Betrawati-Syafrubesi. “I believe that the project will be completed on time. I urge the contractor company to complete it on time,” he said, “The contractor companies in Nepal have the tendency to miss the deadline but the company responsible for this particular project will be invested in completing the project on time.”
Hajma and Ando JV, a Japanese construction company, will construct the tunnel. Shyam Prasad Kharel, project head of the Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road, said the project will be handed over to the government of Nepal after three and a half years.
According to PM Oli, more than 1,600 kilometers of roads have been blacktopped this year. And those were not single-lane roads, he added. “Roads of such length had never been built in the history of Nepal,” he said. “If construction keeps up in such pace, there will be no road problem in Nepal.”
“We need to develop these types of roads to make travelling easier for tourists,” he said. “The government has worked in different sectors, and is now working at even faster pace.”
The project is being constructed with a total investment of Rs 22 billion. The Japanese government will provide Rs 16 billion in loan assistance and the government of Nepal will invest the remaining Rs 6 billion. The amount sourced from Nepal government is being used for land acquisition. The Japanese government has agreed to lend loans at 0.01% interest rate to Nepal for the construction of the project.
The Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel road will connect Sisnekhola and Basnetchhap. PM Oli said that there are many possibilities in Nepal but due to the lack of plan and mobilization of human resources from the government, the potentials have not been reached. “The government’s attention is drawn toward it, and the development works will move forward,” he further added.
The construction of tunnel is expected to improve the road condition around Nagdhunga Pass, thereby contributing to smooth transportation network between Kathmandu and other areas in Nepal. The tunnel project is official development assistance (ODA) loan project funded by the government of Japan where JICA is the development partner providing the loan assistance.
The 2.7-kilometer-long double lane road is expected to reduce the time to clear Nagdhunga Pass by one-third. Currently, it takes 30 minutes when heading east and 20 minutes when heading west if the road is clear. The project is said to make the transportation of people and goods more efficient and safer.