May 26: The government is preparing to open the Nagdhunga tunnel for public transport within a year. Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala assured that the works related to Nagdhunga tunnel will be accelerated so that the vehicles could ply the tunnel way within a year.
Minister Jwala made such remarks while taking stock of physical progress of the under- Nagdhunga Tunnel on Friday.
The construction works were hampered in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and land acquisition problem.
As per the initial agreement with the contractors, the project was supposed to be completed by April 2023. However, the project deadline has been extended considering the delay caused by the pandemic.
According to the state-owned RSS, Minister Jwala said that the incumbent government is ready to address all problems related to the tunnel way and warned the construction company not to halt the tunnel project under any pretext.
The project is being undertaken with the concessional loan provided by the Government of Japan. The total investment for the project is estimated to be around Rs 22 billion. JICA will invest Rs 16 billion while the Government of Nepal will contribute Rs 6 billion.
The tunnel will be of 2.7 kilometers long and will have two flyovers. The project will also cover 3 kilometers of road.
The Thankot-Naubise road section is currently 9 kilometers long. The distance will be shortened to 5.7 kilometers once the tunnel is constructed.
The foundation stone of the project was laid on October 21, 2019. As per the agreement signed with the Department of Roads, the contractor must complete the project within 42 months.