July 14: Both the cost and time of national pride projects have been found to have increased, according to the 59th report released by the Office of the Auditor General on Wednesday.
The government in the fiscal year 2068/69 had announced national pride projects under 17 different headings including road infrastructure, agriculture, irrigation facility, hydropower, airport construction and drinking water among others.
There are currently 24 national pride projects that are currently under construction. The report of the Office of the Auditor General mentions that the progress of these projects till the fiscal year 2077/78 is nil.
Though the construction of national pride projects have been carried out with priority since 10 years, other projects except the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project have not yet been completed, states the report.
According to the report, starting construction activities without preparing detailed project report, lack of coordination among the concerned bodies, lack of construction capacity, weak monitoring and assessment are the reasons behind increase in time and cost of national pride projects.
As per the report, the cost and time of 10 out of the 24 national pride projects have increased. The physical progress of Railway and Metro Development project, whose construction started in the fiscal year 2066/67 BS, is nil.
The report reads that although Rs 24.47 billion has been spent in the project so far, the physical progress is zero. The project has to be completed within the fiscal year 2078/79 BS. The government has estimated Rs 555.22 billion for the construction of the project.
Similarly, the physical progress of the Karnali Corridor is only 28 per cent. More than Rs 11.30 billion has been spent in the project which started in the fiscal year 2065/66 BS. It has to be completed within the fiscal year 2079/80 BS.
Likewise, the Koshi Corridor, started from fiscal year 2065/66 BS has achieved only 24 per cent physical progress. A total of Rs 30.58 billion has been spent so far for the project, which has to be completed within the fiscal year 2080/81.
The report mentions that progress of projects like Mahakali Irrigation Project, North South Kaligandaki Project, Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Project, President Chure Tarai-Madhes Conservation Development Committee and Kathmandu Tarai-Madhes Fast Track is not satisfactory.
The physical progress of Mid-Hill Highway is 57.84 per cent so far. A target has been set to complete the project, that started in 2064/65 BS, within 2079/80 BS. Out of Rs 84.33 billion allocated by the government for the project, Rs 53.34 billion has been spent so far. -- RSS