KATHMANDU, May 30: The government has accorded top priority to the transportation sector, setting aside Rs 163 billion to build transport infrastructures in the new budget. In the budget for Fiscal Year, 2019/20 unveiled in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Minister for Finance
Yuba Raj Khatiwada said the government would invest to build tunnel highways, flyovers and waterways in the country. Building railways and airports also feature significantly in the government’s annual plan.
The government has earmarked Rs 19.18 billion to expand East-West Highway into a four-lane road. Similarly, the government will also build roads to connect all provincial headquarters with East-West Highway. It plans to expedite expansion of Butwal-Narayanghat and Kamala-Kanchanpur sections of the highway on a fast track mode.
Likewise, the government has allocated Rs 12.20 billion for black-topping of 435 km section of the under-construction Mid-hill Highway. Similarly, another Rs 12.63 billion has been earmarked for blacktopping of Hulaki Highway which runs south of East-West Highway, connecting several Tarai districts.
The government has set aside Rs 5.06 billion for key corridor projects like Mechi Corridor, Koshi Corridor, Kaligandaki Corridor, and Karnali Corridor. Similarly, it has allocated Rs 4.82 billion for Madan Bhandari Highway, which connects Dharan, Chatara, Gaighat, Katari, Sindhuli and Hetauda.
The government has earmarked Rs 1.81 billion for Ring Road expansion and Rs 610 million for completion of Kanti Highway that connects Satdobato of Lalitpur with Buddha Chowk of Hetauda.
The government has also decided to conduct study for construction of tunnels in Siddhababa of Siddhartha Highway, Tokha-Chahare-Gurjebhanjyang, Khurkot-Chiyabari and Bipinagar-Khutiya-Dipayal road, among others.
Similarly, the government has also decided to build railway links to connect Itahari, Nijgadh, Butwal and Kohalpur with East-West Electrified Railway. The government has also decided to conduct the feasibility of building Birgunj-Kathmandu and Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu railway lines with a view to starting construction within two years.
For easing traffic congestion in the Kathmandu Valley, the government has decided to build tunnel pathway through Tinkune-Koteshwar-Jadibuti road, an underpass in New Baneshwar, and a flyover from Tripureshwar to Maitighar. It has allocated Rs 3.34 billion to complete remaining work of Gautam Buddha International Airport and Rs 8 billion for the under-construction Pokhara Regional International Airport. The Pokhara airport is targeted to be completed within 2020.
Likewise, the government has allocated budget to build waterways in Narayani and Koshi rivers.