January 15: The government has shortlisted two companies to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Maharjgunj-Satdobato section of the Budhanilkantha-Khokana metro rail service. The Department of Railways (DoRW) selected the two companies, one Nepali and one Chinese, five years after the completion of the feasibility study.
“Based on the feasibility study conducted by DoRW, DPR of the Maharjgunj-Satdobato section will be prepared in the first phase,” informed Director General Balram Mishra, “Similar feasibility studies will be conducted for the Budhanilkantha -Maharajgunj and Satdobato-Khokana sections too.”
Mishra also informed that the process of DPR and feasibility study would take nearly a year to complete and would require a budget of Rs 150 million. “Metro rail is a complicated engineering project; therefore, it requires a comprehensive study and budget,” he said.
Mishra believes that the metro service will help alleviate the problem of traffic congestion in the valley.
Former Secretary of the Government of Nepal and Urban Development Expert Kishor Thapa points out the necessity of a ‘mass transit’ transportation system for a city like Kathmandu. “The valley needs an alternative to buses for public transportation,” he said adding, “Therefore, a project like the metro service is an absolute necessity, in spite of its economic and technical costs.” He also said that work on the Mahargunj-Satdobato section of the metro line needed to be taken as a ‘pilot project’ because the country lacks experience in constructing and operating a metro train.
He also said that DoRW and the municipalities needed to be supported in their efforts to introduce rail projects connecting all corners of the valley.