Preparations underway for expansion of ring road from Kalanki to Basundhara

Published On: April 7, 2023 06:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 7: Preparations have been started for the road extension from Kalanki to Basundhara in the second phase of ring road expansion. Before starting the construction of the road, the Chinese side has started discussions with the Department of Roads after an onsite visit.

For the expansion of this section of the ring road, the Department of Roads had started to vacate buildings and remove other structures in the construction site a few years ago, but the Chinese side did not come due to the Covid-19 infection. Now that the situation is returning to normal, the department wants to proceed with the work.

Bijay Jaisi, chief of the Development Assistance Division under the Department of Roads, said that the Chinese side wanted to come and work and visited the site twice. He informed Republica that they are discussing how to undertake the work after conducting the pre-feasibility study.

The Koteshwor-Kalanki road was extended in the first phase. Since the work was started without clearing the construction site on that road, there were many problems during the expansion. Based on that experience, the Chinese side had previously asked the government  to start construction only after the construction site was cleared.

The department said that they had to face many problems while evacuating the construction site. Now, many problems encountered during the evacuation of the construction site have been solved. So far, about 80 percent of the land where the expansion work will be undertaken by the Chinese side has been cleared. It has been learnt that the temple near Gongabu Chowk has been demolished, the electricity poles near Swayambhu have been moved and the construction site near Basundhara bus stop is also being cleared.

In the second phase, the government asked the Chinese side for the extension from Kalanki to Dhobikhola in Chabahil. On the same basis, even though the construction site has started to be cleared, the houses near Maharajganj Chowk have not been removed.

As the construction site could not be cleared, discussions are being held on expanding the road from Kalanki to Basundhara instead of Maharajgunj.

He said, “Many houses on the main lane in Maharajganj have to be demolished and the land case is pending in the court, so it is not possible to clear the site right  now.”

Chief Jaisi said that some revisions have to be made compared to the previous design. He informed Republica that the department has discussed with officials of various agencies and prepared a blueprint and given it to the Chinese side. They are currently studying it.

The department is also asking the Chinese side to have some more structure than the first section. It has been asked to keep 'utility dot' in one or two places in the future. Water supply, electricity, telecom, sewage etc. structures can be placed in such a dot under the road. Chief Jaisi said, “Since they don't have money for that, they have asked to do it on behalf of Nepal.”

There is discussion to build an 'underpass' in places on the road. He said that if the underpass is not built now, it will be difficult to build it by breaking up the road, so the matter has been discussed. As there is a problem of water inundation in places of the first section of the ring road, discussions are also underway to build it so as to avoid the problem.

In the first phase, there was a problem of accumulation of water on the road due to lack of drains. Chief Jaisi said that in the second phase, it has been asked to have a large-sized drain everywhere and the Chinese side is also positive about it. While other things are being agreed upon, the matter of making utility dot and underpass is yet to be agreed upon. 

Even ten years ago, the department wanted to build a flyover at Gwarko, but it could not be built at that time due to insufficient budget. Now the government is proceeding with the construction of the flyover with its own investment.

Mentioning that the Chinese side is saying that they do not have the funds to make a flyover  in the second phase, Jaisi said, “Foreigners also have limitations. Now we have to build flyovers in many places like at Gwarko.” Chief Jaisi said that it will take six to seven months to finalize the design and only after that the contract process can be started. It is seen that it may take a year to start the construction work.

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