•      Thu Jul 25 2024

Nepal Army awards two companies for tunnel construction of the Kathmandu-Terai Fasttrack

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Army has signed an agreement for the construction of tunnels in both packages of the Kathmandu-Terai-Madhesh Expressway.

A contract agreement was signed with China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited and Poly Changda Engineering Company Limited for Package No. 1 and Package No. 2 of the tunnel on Friday.

The first package is worth Rs 21.61 billion and the second is worth Rs 28.53 billion, said Army Spokesman Santosh Ballabh Poudel. The first package will have one longer and the second package will have two shorter tunnels.

The agreement has been signed by Project Head Bikash Pokharel on behalf of Nepal Army’s Expressway Project and Su Yan, Executive Director for Package 1 on behalf of the construction company and Zhu Tingyu Barbara, Project Manager on Package 2.

According to the Public Procurement Act 2063 BS and Public Rules 2064 BS, the letter of intent was issued within seven days without any complaint and both the companies came up with bank guarantee for the agreement as required by the law.

The Army has reiterated that the agreement process has been completed in a transparent manner based on the provisions of the Public Procurement Act. As per the agreement, the construction company has been given six months design period and three years construction time. It has been informed that the contracts of the remaining nine clusters out of the 11 clusters built by the army to complete the project within the stipulated period will go ahead.

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives had directed to cancel the contract stating that it was against the preamble of the Public Procurement Act. Following the directive of the committee, the army had requested the parliamentary committee to reconsider the decision stating that all the work was carried out in a transparent manner. The army had written to reconsider the impact of the cancellation of the contract as it had already gone through the procurement process to move the project forward.

The overall progress of the project so far is 11.11 percent and the target is to reach 16.21 percent by the end of the current fiscal year. The four-lane 72.5 km long expressway will have a width of 25 meters in the hills and 27 meters in the Terai with 87 bridges.

After the construction of the expressway, the distance of road transport from the Central and Eastern Terai to the Kathmandu Valley will be significantly reduced.

The construction of the highway, which starts from Khokna in Lalitpur and joins the East-West Highway at Nijgadh in Bara, is being carried out under the management of the Nepal Army. The most important expressway of national pride is expected to transform the country’s economic development.

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