Nepali Army inks agreement with Chinese firm for the construction of tunnels under Kathmandu-Terai fast track

KATHMANDU: Nepali Army (NA) has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm for tunnel construction of two packages of Kathmandu-Terai-Madhesh fast track.

The contract signing was made with China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited for package 1 and Poly Chyangda Engineering Company Limited for package 2 of the tunnel.

NA spokesperson Santosh Ballav Poudel shared that the first package was of Rs 21 billion 610 million while second package has Rs 28 billion 530 million.

There will be one tunnel in the first package and two short tunnels in the second package.

The agreement to this effect was signed by project chief of the Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track and Brigadier General Bikas Pokahrel on behalf of the project and Executive Director Xu Yan for package 1 from contractor and Project Manager Xhu Taniagyu Barbara for package 2.

Spokesperson Poudel said the MoU was signed in line with the Public Procurement Act 2063 and Regulation 2064 BS.

The contract signing process was completed as per the provisions of Public Procurement Act in a full transparent manner.

As per the MoU, the contractor was provided six months for design and three years for the construction.

Out of the 11 clusters developed by the NA to complete the project within the stipulated time, the MoU has been signed to construct nine clusters, it is informed.

However, the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives (HOR) had directed to scrap the project noting that the contract was against the preamble of Public Procurement Act.

On April 1, PAC has directed the government to cancel the second package contract on construction of bridge and tunnel under Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway and announce fresh bidding. The government was made aware that only one construction company was picked from pre-qualification, thereby avoiding competition.

Following the committee’s directive, the NA had requested Ministry of Defense to reconsider its decision claiming that all works were being undertaken in a transparent manner.

On April 3, NA opened technical and financial proposals of pre-qualified contractors.

Poudel further informed that PAC and its line ministry did not respond to NA’s several call to facilitate the contract process.

“Despite direction from the House Panel, the government has not asked us to halt the contract process. As we did not get any respond from both PAC and our line Ministry, we inked the agreement,” informed Poudel, adding, “As Fast-Track is a national pride project and a strategic project, we expect the government and other stakeholders to facilitate its timely construction and completion.”

So far the overall progress is reported to be 11.11 percent and there is a target to reach 16.21 percent by the end of current fiscal year. The project is being constructed under EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) model.

The 72.5-km expressway with four-lane has the breadth of 25-meter in mountainous area and 27-meter in Terai area.

The national pride project will also have total 87 bridges in its area.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday May 16, 2021, 12:02:54 PM |

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