Govt may miss road project targets
KATHMANDU, JUL 05 -
The government is likely to miss targets for most of the P1 (priority one) road projects. The Department of Road’s (DoR) progress report states ambitious targets, fuel shortage, land dispute and contractors’ non-cooperation slowed down work on major road projects.
Performance of P1 projects, including Mid-Hill Highway, Postal Road, Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Road Improvement, North-South Roads and improvement of road having business importance, is not satisfactory, according to the progress report as of first 11 months of the current fiscal year. All these projects have received over Rs 150 million each for the current fiscal year. Even the progress of major national pride projects such as Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track and Mid-Hill Highway are below the target.
The current budget has planned to complete 76 km track opening of Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track. However, the government’s failure to provide timely land compensation and land acquisition dispute in Khokana, Lalitpur, slowed down the track opening. “We will not be able to open 8 km track in Lalitpur and 4 km in Makawanpur,” said Dinesh Prakash Basnet, project manager. This project is being handled directly by the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management.
The Mid-Hill road project has completed track opening of 77 km against the target of 116 km. There is no progress in blacktopping of the targeted 70 km road, and only 28.5 km of the targeted 55km has been graveled. Now, the department says all track opening work on the Mid-Hill Highway will be completed by the next fiscal year.
According to DoR, work on many projects, including Mid-Hill Highway, Road Connectivity Project, Road Sector Development Project, North-South Roads and Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement, was affected due to frequent fuel shortage. “Strikes, fuel shortage, right of way dispute and land acquisition problems were some common problems faced by projects this year,” said Prabhat Jha, senior divisional engineer at the road department.
He said that the department also received reports from some project offices about the fear of armed and underground outfits and shortage of explosives for blasting to open tracks.
Of the target of blacktopping 9.1 km service track under the Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Improvement work, only around 30 percent work is completed. The department said only around 50 percent of target of North-South road would be met this year due to difficult geography, lack of workforce and failure to take explosives to sites of track opening.
The government, in the current fiscal year, has targeted to open 90 km road track under this project. The department is now all set to take action against contractors failing to complete assigned work on time.
As for the Postal Road, the department has said blacktopping of 64 km road was in progress. However, of the planned 61 bridges for the postal road, only 5 will be completed in this fiscal year.
Similarly, the plan to improve roads having business importance such as Butwal-Belhiya (24 km) and Rani-Itahari-Dharan (54 km) has delayed. The department said they have selected a contractor for Butwal-Belhiya and preparations are underway for calling bid to undertake Rani-Itahari-Dharan road improvement.
Posted on: 2012-07-05 08:33