October 1: The Kalanki-Maharajgunj-Dhobikhola road expansion under the second phase of the ring road expansion project has not gained momentum yet. Three and a half years have passed in clearing the site and preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nepal and the China in February 2018 to expand the 8-lane road. The Chinese side has informed the Department of Roads via email that the DPR has already been prepared.
The upgrading of the 11.6 km long section of ring road is being done with grant assistance from China. China has already handed over the Kalanki-Koteshwor section of the 27km ring road by widening it to eight lanes. The northern neighbor had also agreed to upgrade the Kalanki-Maharajgunj section in the second phase. Even after three and a half years, the entire site has not been cleared and Nepal has not received the DPR report.
Director-General of the Department of Roads Arjun Jung Thapa said that the Chinese side has ignored the project for the last two years.
The project was also delayed due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Even though the Forestry Department cut down the trees along the road section on time, it has been difficult to move the electricity line," Thapa said.
Similarly, the site has not been cleared in the Narayan Gopal Chowk area.
In this section, about 23 houses will have to be demolished and 44 plots of land will have to be acquired. However, there is a problem with land acquisition.
According to the standards of 2034 BS, the right of way of the road was 15/15 meters.
Thapa said that the private lands should be acquired according to the criteria. Rs 4 billion should be spent on compensation for land acquisition
“There is a problem to manage this large amount of money and the government is not able to provide compensation immediately, and the evaluation is also delayed. It took some time to find out whether the land was acquired in 2034 BS," Thapa said. "After that, the district administration office in Kathmandu has formed a sub-committee to evaluate it. He said that due to these reasons, the project has been delayed.