August 5: Work progress of P1 projects, which fall under the first priority of the Department of Roads (DoR), remained dismal in the last fiscal year. Out of 42 P1 projects under the department, only 6 achieved more than 80 percent work progress during fiscal year 2019/20.
According to the department, 19 such projects have achieved work progress of 50 to 80 percent while the progress of 17 projects is less than 50 percent.
Similarly, the national pride projects have also failed to impress if the work progress in taken into consideration.
The DoR has failed to achieve its target set for national pride projects and other priority projects. The department has blamed coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown as well as half a dozen other reasons for the failure to meet its target.
The government had allocated Rs 127 billion to the department. However, it was able to spend only Rs 69.48 billion, which is 67.29 percent of the total budget.
In the past, the department used to spend over 80 percent of the allocated budget.
Spokesperson at the department Shiva Hari Sapkota told New Business Age that they could not meet their target due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past one year, the department was able to blacktop 729 kilometers of road in the national road network. The department had set a target of blacktopping 1200 kilometers of road during the last fiscal year but was able to achieve only 60.75 percent of the target.
Bureaucratic red tape and other hurdles in release of foreign grant and assistance is another major reason for the delay in work completion. Other factors include delay in approval of Environment Impact Assessment, compensation distribution and land acquisition, obstruction by locals demanding more compensation, human resource management for projects handed over to the provincial governments among others.