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KATHMANDU: Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Prakash Jwala, led a high-ranking team on an inspection of the Nagdhunga-Sisnekhola tunnel today. The group, which included Minister of State for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Nanda Chapai, Member of Parliament Rajendra Prasad Pandey, former Minister of Education Dr Gangalal Tuladhar, senior officials from the Department of Roads, and representatives from the World Bank, visited the tunnel that is nearing completion.
During the inspection, Minister Jwala urged the construction company to finalize the remaining work within the revised timeline. He assured the government’s support in addressing any practical challenges that may arise during the construction process.
Minister Jwala obtained updates on the progress and condition of the tunnel. Narayan Duwadi, the chief engineer of the tunnel construction company Swachchhanda Nirman Sewa, stated that approximately 400 meters of the main tunnel and only 35 meters of the rescue tunnel are yet to be excavated.
The connection of the rescue tunnel is expected to be completed in the coming months, while the main tunnel will be connected soon after. Duwadi emphasized that the construction efforts have been accelerated to enable vehicle traffic through the tunnel within the next twelve months.
The foundation stone for the tunnel was laid in October 2019, and it spans a length of 2.68 kilometers. The project involves the construction of two tunnels: a 9-meter-wide main tunnel and a 4-meter-wide rescue tunnel.
Due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors, the construction period of the tunnel has been extended by 14 months. As per the revised timeline, the entire project is expected to be completed, allowing vehicles to pass through the tunnel by September 2024.
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