Twenty One Percent Progress in KTM-Tarai Fast Track

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Twenty One Percent Progress in KTM-Tarai Fast Track

September 20: The Nepalese Army, which aims to complete the Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway (Fast Track) project by mid-December 2024, has spent only Rs 37.96 billion in the project so far. The total cost of the expressway which is being constructed under the management of the Nepalese Army is Rs 175 billion.

The government had entrusted the management of the expressway to the Nepalese Army in the fiscal year 2016/17 with a mandate to complete it within four years. The progress of the expressway is only 21 percent so far.

The term of the project was extended till 2024 after it was not possible to complete the fast track within the initial deadline of four years due to various reasons.

The dispute in Khokna remains as it is and the contract agreements for six more packages are yet to be signed. The construction of these packages has not started yet which suggests that the fast track will not be completed within the extended deadline.

This is evident from the progress report presented by the Nepalese Army during a programme organized on Friday to inform about the current status of the expressway and the action plan for the current fiscal year. Project Chief Bikas Pokharel informed that 21.18 percent of physical progress has been achieved since the project started. In the last fiscal year, the project received a total budget of Rs 8.79 billion. Both physical and financial progress during the review year was above 99 percent.

The contract management of Khokna and Package No 11, which is considered the starting point of the 72.5 km expressway, is the major bone of contention. Project chief Pokharel informed that the army is yet to acquire 414 ropanis of land in this area due to the protest of the locals, who have been demanding preservation of their cultural heritage.

The army has stated that the delay in resolving the Khokna-Bungmati dispute is a major challenge for completing the project within the given deadline.

The Khokna dispute, the complications in the process of felling trees and land acquisition, the preparation of the supplementary environmental impact assessment (SEIA) report and the inter-ministerial process to remove the procedural hassles have been mentioned by the army as a the main challenges.

However, the army says that efforts are being made to complete the work on time. Out of the total 11 packages of the project, five packages including construction of tunnel, road and bridge have been signed and construction has been started. The army has said that it will manage the contract for the remaining six packages in the current fiscal year and start the work simultaneously.


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