July 20: The government has proposed building tunnels in different parts of the country but it lacks skilled manpower. To address this problem, the government had reached an agreement with the Japanese construction company to deploy Nepali engineers and technicians at the Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel in order to develop skilled manpower.
As the construction of the tunnel progresses, skilled manpower is also being generated within the country. Exposure to this project has given opportunity to the country’s manpower to acquire skills to build tunnels.
Currently, 150 people, both Nepali and Japanese, are working on this project. Fifteen of them include employees of the construction company, Hajma Ando Corporation of Japal.
Project Chief Nareshman Shakya said that the construction company has been using Nepali workers since the start of the digging work of the tunnel. According to him, 25 engineers, six geologists, 12 tunnel supervisors, 12 surveyors, and 35 operators have been deployed in the project from Nepal so far. They have gained experience in various aspects of the tunnel. Likewise, there are 45 other ordinary workers.
Shakya said that the engineers and technicians deployed at the site are learning about tunnel construction with great interest. Likewise, they are also learning ways to dig a tunnel and also aspects of quality management. "In some cases, the site is controlled by Nepali engineers," said Shakya.
He said that the operators have started learning how to operate the machines and how to tilt them. He said that Nepalis are digging the tunnels, operating machines on their own. There are also automatic machines and equipment inside the tunnel. Nepalis are now replacing Japanese workers in this project.
As soon as the tunnel was built, it became clear how to use the equipment. He also said that Nepali engineers, operators, and in-charges are learning about tools used for constructing a tunnel on the highways, and methods of drilling.
Engineers and technicians from the Department of Roads and construction companies have been deployed in constructing the tunnel. "Currently, technicians from the private sector are also working and learning. Later, when they are trained, they can teach others,” said Shakya.