KATHMANDU, Feb 24: Quality Research and Development Centre (QRDC) under the Department of Roads has intensified its field study in order to develop short tunnels in major highways across the country.
According to Ghanashyam Basnet, the director of the center, the Terms of References (TOR) has been readied for the study of short tunnels in major highways.
"We will proceed to hire and assign consultants after finalizing the TOR," said Basnet. According to the study, the short tunnels will be constructed along the stretches of the major highways that witness frequent disruption of the transportation services due to rain-triggered landslides.
"Our main target is to identify the areas where transportation services are disrupted every year primarily due to landslides in monsoon season. We will also study whether they are feasible for the tunnels," he added.
Basnet stated that a team of the engineers will find out the the appropriate places for the short tunnels. "Based on the study, consultants will carry out pre-feasibility study. It may take around six months. Accordingly, we will carry prepare the Detail Project Report (DPR) in the next stage," he said.
Basnet told Republica Online that the government will go for a global bidding to pick the construction company for the same.
The tunnels are likely to have 50 to 500 meters in length, according to QRDC.
Director Basnet expressed the confidence that the construction of short tunnels will help easing the vehicular movement along the major highways. "At the same time, working in the short tunnels will be new experience for our engineers," he said.
According to officials, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure has earmarked Rs 590 million for the construction of the tunnels. The government has set the target to prepare 13 tunnels feasibility reports within the fiscal year 2019/20. Five reports have been prepared so far.
The construction of Nagdhunga-Naubise, the first ever tunnel project of the country, began last year with the financial and technical assistance of Japan International Corporation Association (JICA).