Nagdhunga tunnel project nears excavation completion, yet faces extended timeline

KATHMANDU: The Nagdhunga tunnel project, currently in progress, is encountering yet another setback, with an additional year of delay expected before it becomes operational. Originally hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent local disruptions, the project’s completion timeline has been extended.

According to project updates, only nine meters of the main tunnel, spanning a total length of 2,688 meters, remain to be excavated. Govind Damaru, Senior Divisional Engineer overseeing the project, stated that 2,679 meters of tunnels have already been excavated.

Damaru outlined plans to achieve a breakthrough in the main tunnel by Baisakh (Mid-April to mid-May) 2081 BS, emphasizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing local obstructions on the project’s progress.

Despite nearing completion of the main tunnel excavation, an additional year is estimated to finalize the project’s remaining phases, including lining, equipment installation, and overall finishing. Damaru explained that vehicular movement through the tunnel will commence after the completion of these tasks.

Earlier, on August 6, 2023, a breakthrough was achieved in the project’s emergency (rescue) tunnel. However, on February 18, locals from Dhading disrupted the project, citing demands for compensation, water supply, and irrigation. Construction resumed on March 21 after a month-long interruption, following assurances from newly appointed Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister Raghubir Mahaseth to address local concerns.

The Nagdhunga tunnel project, slated for completion within 42 months, is being executed by Japanese contractor Hazama Ando JV, with construction commencing on November 17, 2019.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday March 29, 2024, 08:27:24 AM |

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