2nd phase of ring road expansion: Field study report to be submitted within a mthA high-level Chinese team, which is currently making a field study for the second phase of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project, is scheduled to present its report to the Nepal government within a month.
A high-level Chinese team, which is currently making a field study for the second phase of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project, is scheduled to present its report to the Nepal government within a month.
The Chinese government is undertaking the second phase of the project which includes upgradation of a 17-km stretch from Kalanki to Chabahil and Koteshwor.
The officials from the Chinese Commerce Ministry arrived in Kathmandu three weeks ago. They have been collecting vital information including quality test reports of the soil at the construction site.
“The team is scheduled to return within a week,” said Sanjay Kumar Shrestha, chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the Department of Roads which is implementing the project.
“Upon their return, they will submit the field report to the government, and an agreement will be signed between the two countries.” The construction of the second phase of the project is slated to begin within six months of the signing.
Currently, workers have been upgrading the Koteshwor-Ekantakuna-Kalanki section under the first phase financed by a Chinese government grant. “The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed within six months,” said Shrestha. “As soon as they complete the construction of the first phase, work on the second phase will begin.”
Nepal and China signed a pact to improve the 10-km segment in 2012. When the deal was signed, China had expressed interest in upgrading the entire 27-km length of the Ring Road, according to the Department of Roads.
The plan was subsequently abandoned as the Chinese government said that the funding required to build the entire Ring Road exceeded its budget. At that time, China had promised to upgrade the rest of the Ring Road under the second phase. As part of the first phase of the project which is worth Rs5.27 billion, the 10-km road section is being widened to eight lanes from two lanes, and separate bicycle lanes are being built. According to the Department of Roads, more than 75 percent of the construction work has been completed. Four bridges have been expanded.
Likewise, the construction of three pedestrian bridges is almost complete. An 800-metre underpass extending from Khasi Bazaar to Baphal will also be built. Currently, Shanghai Construction Group, the contractor for the project, has been working on a war footing, and it is on track to meet the completion deadline of mid-July 2018.
The project, launched in June 2013, was expected to be completed in 2017. But the completion date was pushed back by a year to July 2018 due to shortages of construction materials, the devastating 2015 earthquakes and a fuel crisis triggered by an Indian blockade. The Chinese company resumed work in January last year, and has stepped up the pace.