22 Feb,Kathmandu: Lawmakers have demanded the government expedite the construction of the Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track.
Speaking at a meeting of the Public Account Committee, Legislature-Parliament today, lawmakers from various political parties voiced for accelerating the implementation of the project.
In response, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak pledged to speed up the project as per the Detailed Project Report prepared by an Indian company. He said the government was preparing to table the proposal being based on the recommendation of a committee headed by National Planning Commission Vice-Chair Dr Meen Bahadur Shrestha in the Cabinet to seek its approval to expedite the project.
Committee President Dor Prasad Upadhyay said the next meeting was expected to discuss the issues of fast track again and come up with a substantive decision on this matter.
Lawmaker Bishnu Poudel stressed the construction of the project should be carried out as per the government policy and programmes and budget speech.
There was public concern that the construction cost of the project was relatively high and the government should respond such concern.
Rajan KC said, “An increase of the project’s budget from Rs 96 billion to 112 billion is a matter of concern.”
Ramhari Khatiwada said Nepal’s roads were being used as trial and we should be aware whether the fate of fast truck would be like of the BP Highway. Dhanraj Gurung called on the government to reconsider whether the project cost could be reduced.
Ministry Secretary Dhan Bahadur Tamang admitted to sluggishness in the implementation of the project. “The project will ultimately do good for the country as it was introduced with the concept of constructing an express route of international standard in the country.”
Kathmandu-Terai-Madhes Fast Track project chief Satyendra Shakya said earlier the government decided to implement the project in a boot model, but later its decision to construct on its own which caused delay in the construction.
The construction of the project began in the fiscal year 2065-66 BS and the Nepal Army has already completed the task of opening 110 kilometers track for it.
Reversing its earlier decision, the government in its policy and programmes for the fiscal year, announced to construct the project on its own from the upcoming fiscal year. It promised Rs 10 billion for the project in the current budget speech. RSS