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Construction of roads taken over by the army: sometimes slow, sometimes fast

About half a dozen roads are being constructed across the country under the responsibility of the army, but due to geographical complexity, there is doubt that most of them will be completed within the stipulated time.
विमल खतिवडा
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Although under the responsibility of the Nepali Army, about half a dozen roads are being constructed across the country, it is seen that most of them will not be completed within the stipulated time due to geographical complexity. The army has been given the responsibility of difficult road sections that could not be constructed by the road department. Currently, the construction of 274.537 km of roads is under the responsibility of the army.

Construction of roads taken over by the army: sometimes slow, sometimes fast

Kathmandu-Tarai/Madhesh Expressway (Fast Track) is also being constructed under the management of the army. But even with the added time, not everything seems to get done. 79 km of Tusarpani-Tinkar section of Darchula-Tinkar road is being constructed by the army. If this road is not built, there is a compulsion to use the Indian road to go from the capital Darchula to Changru, Lipulek, Kalapani and other places in our own country. The army took over the construction of this road on 28 Jan 077. So far 11.72 km track has been opened. The road is 425 km from Brahmadev in Kanchanpur to Tinkar in Darchula, in which the Army has got the job of opening the track in the difficult rocky section. The work of opening the track should be completed by the army within the financial year 088/89.

Another road taken over by the army is the Chamtang-Ghonghappa section of Khandbari-Kimathanka. The road which is a national pride project falls under the North-South Koshi Corridor. It was given to the army on January 24, 2017 so that it could be completed within the financial year 081/82. Out of the 162 km Khandbari-Kimathanka road, 10.51 km section has been entrusted to the army. An allocation of Rs 99.8 million has been made for this section in the current financial year. So far, the opening of 7.70 km track has been completed.

Another road taken over by the army is Benighat-Arughat-Larkevnjang. The total distance from Benighat in Dhading to Larkepass in Gorkha is 154 km, of which the rough section is 92 km. According to the army, work is being done to open the track in that difficult section. According to the army, so far the work of opening 37 km track in this section has been completed. The remaining 55 km road tracks should be completed by the army within the financial year 086/87. Army is working in Hawadanda to Larkevanjang section.

A bigger challenge than these roads is to connect the Army to Humla headquarters Simkot to the national road network. The army should complete this work within the current fiscal year. The distance of Karnali Corridor from Khulalu in Kalikot to Hilsa via Simkot is 269 km. Of this, 246 km has been worked by the road department and 22.5 km by the army.

Between Kharpunath and Sarkegad Rural Municipality of Humla, the army is working there. The Army has been given the responsibility to work there as the Lalibagar-Dullikuna section 11 of Humla and Ghatparichaur-Bhukkakhola section 11.5 km connecting Kalikot-Bajura are mountains with hard rocks. Although a 95-km road track has been opened from Hilsa to Simkot, the border area of ​​China, the national road has not been reached. After the construction of a temporary Beilibridge in Karnali of Sallisalla, the means of transport has reached to Lapche located in Sarkegad Rural Municipality-1.

In the Lalibagar-Dullikuna section, out of 11 km, 2.5 km track has been opened by the road department. The work of opening the 7.90 km track has been completed after it was taken over by the army on 08 Jan 078. According to the army, only 600 meters of track is left to be opened. Assistant Rathi and Military Spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandari said that Simkot will be connected to the national road network after the track opening is completed within the current year.

According to the army, the work of opening 4 km track out of 11.5 km of Ghatparichaur-Bhukkakhola section has been completed. The track opening of 7.5 km section should be completed within the year 082/83. The army claims that the work will be completed within that time. Bel Bahadur Nepali, acting head of the Karnali Corridor Uttarakhand (Hilsa Simkot) road plan, said that the army was given the task of opening the track because of the hard and big rocks in that section. In the policy and program of 079/80, the government said that the road will be constructed in Simkot in the same year. But that year Humla was not connected to the national road network. Initially, in the budget of the financial year 063/64, the government had mentioned that the district headquarters including Humla would be connected to the national road network. But all the other district headquarters were connected to the road network but Simkot was not connected.

'From Lapche to Lalibagar, the army has been entrusted with the task of opening the track, the work of opening the track has been completed in many places,' said the Acting Chief Nepali, 'Now only about 600 meters of track are left, the work of opening the track will be completed in the current year, then small vehicles from Simkot to Hilsa The road department said that a temporary bridge will be needed for that. Although the track was opened earlier in Apthara Bhir, the road is yet to be widened. It will be a problem to drive big vehicles until the road is widened. "This work is only possible with the army as the work will be delayed by other builders," he said.

The road taken over by the army for construction is often rocky, so the work is done using explosives. Sushilbabu Dhakal, Director General of the Roads Department, said that the army is working in difficult areas where the department is unable to work. "Work is being done to connect Simkot to the national road network this year, where we will not allow the army to lack budget," he said. The budget is not enough.'

The overall construction of the largest road project Fast Track is slow. The responsibility of its construction management has been given to the army by the cabinet decision on 21 May 074. So far the physical progress is 31.90 percent. All sections except Khokna have been contracted. Package 8 'A', 9 'A' and 'B' were awarded and a case was filed in the Patan High Court during the technical evaluation process. After the court dismissed the case, the army said that the contract has been signed. The starting point is that the contract could not be concluded as the land dispute of the 6.5 km area of ​​Khokna area of ​​Lalitpur has not been resolved.

According to the contract, the work should be completed by 081 December. But since the work cannot be completed in that period, the deadline has been extended till 083 Chait. Its initial estimated budget was 1 trillion 75 billion rupees. With the extension of the deadline, the cost has been increased to 2 trillion 11 billion 93 crore rupees.

Before the road department handed over the project to the army, Rs 3.67 billion had been spent. After the army took over the construction management, 56.57 billion rupees have already been spent. The distance from Khokna in Lalitpur to Nijgarh in Bara has been fixed at 70.977 km after the cabinet meeting held on July 30 gave approval to amend the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Earlier, the distance of the section was 72.5 km. 3 tunnels have been added after DPR revision. According to the project, the Chandram Bhir tunnel with a distance of 2250 meters is under design. According to the Army, it is in the final stage of the procurement process of one km Devichaur and 0.39 km Sisautar tunnel under Package 8 'B'.

under the Kathmandu-Tarai Madhesh Expressway Road under construction towards Nijgarh in Bara.

While the pace of the overall project is slow, the progress in the construction of the tunnel has increased. 73 percent of the tunnel under construction has been completed. Currently, 3 tunnels are under construction. Out of 6415 meters, 4653 meters have been drained. That is, now only 1762 meters are left to be dug, according to the army. However, even the amount requested by the army has not been spent. In the current financial year, 22.5 billion 38 million rupees were allocated for this project, but 4.52 billion rupees were returned, the project said. According to the Army, the amount was returned to Artha as the contract could not be managed in all the packages of the project in the current financial year. According to the Ministry of Finance, the army "surrendered" four and a half billion rupees as it could not spend the money.

The bridge to be built under the expressway.

The budget ceiling of the fast track will be determined by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Nepal Army will implement it through the Ministry of Defense, the Roads Department said. This is not the first time that Fast Track has failed to spend the allocated funds. Even in the financial year 079/80, this project could not spend even half of the allocated budget. For this project, 29,999,700,000 rupees were allocated for capital, of which only 14,940,800,000 rupees were spent. That is, 49.62 percent of the allocated capital budget was spent. The total distance of the fast track, including the first and additional tunnels, is only 10.055 km. According to the army, contracts for 67 bridges have been signed for 89 bridges. In this total distance of bridge will be constructed only 12.855 km. According to the army, the distance of the road will be 48.067 km.

Defense Minister Hari Prasad Upreti said that if the development work being done by the army is not in a satisfactory manner, it will go into action. "I have received information that the work is being delayed because the army has some problems in the sale of ballast/sand to the local bodies," he said while responding to the State Order and Good Governance Committee meeting of the House of Representatives some time ago, "If the development work has been obstructed by river materials and it should be carried out according to the rules of the local government. He said that the crusher can be kept in its own way.''

'If we build a fast track, we should also provide a fast route, that is also a lot of obstacles,' he said, 'It cannot be done by placing fast track equipment behind a merchant's container, for that, a fast route should be built.'

Former Secretary Ravindra Shrestha says that not only the army has taken over, but the contracts are often delayed. "In some places, work is being delayed due to legal troubles, we have to wait for months to cut a tree," he said Former Secretary Shrestha, who has also worked, said that the army should fulfill its responsibilities quickly to protect its reputation.

'Projects taken up by the army are being worked on in a timely manner'

Krishna Prasad Bhandari, Assistant Rathi and Military Spokesman

Why is the road project being constructed under the management of the army delayed?

The army is working on the road project by managing and deploying itself. The work is being done according to the responsibility given by the government. So far, work has not been stopped on any project. There is a difference between fast track and other corridor roads. The construction work on the fast track will be done through contractors. In this, the army will only do management work. Military forces stationed on corridor roads also work.

Isn't it a problem of budget and manpower?

Manpower is not a problem. We are getting the budget given by the government every financial year. So there is no budget problem. How long and how fast the project can be done depends on the availability of budget. The work is being done according to the limit determined by the available budget.

fast track within added time?

The land in Lalitpur's Khokna area under package number 11 has not been made available for the project. This is not something that only the military can do. All other packages have already been contracted. There is no clause left to contract except for the cough. If the contract is awarded, construction continues. The contract process will start as soon as the land dispute of Khokna is resolved in time and the project receives the land. So far, the contracted projects have been completed within the stipulated time. We are trying to complete the project within the specified time.

There is also a delay in opening the tracks of the roads taken over by the army, can the work be done within the specified time? It's time for the road to open the

track. Where the army is working in a difficult situation. There is no stopping. Work is being done according to the target. Accordingly, the budget has been managed. It is true that the project as a whole has been delayed from the outside. But as much as the responsibility has been given, it has been completed within the stipulated time. Nothing is late.

Will Humla be connected to the National Road Network this financial year?

Work is being done to connect Humla headquarters Simkot to the national road network within the current fiscal year. The army has also been given the responsibility to widen the difficult road that has opened the track in this section. A budget has been given for both works. This work is also being done within the specified time.

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