Butwal-Narayanghat road improvement plan held upThe planned upgradation of the Butwal-Narayanghat section of the East-West Highway will be delayed as the Department of Roads (DoR) has scrapped the process to appoint a contractor for the project.
The planned upgradation of the Butwal-Narayanghat section of the East-West Highway will be delayed as the Department of Roads (DoR) has scrapped the process to appoint a contractor for the project.
The 115-km Butwal-Narayanghat would be widened to four lanes with a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The selection process was cancelled after the ADB disqualified the lowest bidder citing technical reasons. A total of 25 companies from China, India and Italy participated in the global tender issued 15 months ago, and the DoR had forwarded the bids of three companies to the ADB.
“The ADB disqualified the first company due to technical reasons while the financial status of the second company was poor which didn’t allow us to enter into an agreement,” said Suresh Poudel, deputy director of ADB Project Directorate Office of the DoR which looks after projects funded by the multilateral lender.
“Similarly, the third company had quoted a much lower price than the estimated cost of the project. Therefore, we have decided to scrap the procurement process and reissue the global tender.” The department has said it will call for global bid within two weeks. “We are planning to appoint a contractor for the project within nine months,” said Poudel.
The highway upgradation project has been divided into two packages: Narayanghat-Daunne and Daunne-Butwal. As per the project, the four-lane upgraded highway will have two six-metre wide service lanes on both sides at busy market areas which will separate fast moving vehicles from slow moving ones.
The road will be widened to three lanes only wherever it passes through difficult terrain. “As it is difficult to broaden the road at Daunne hill where there are steep rocky cliffs, only three lanes will be built.” The road upgradation project is expected to be completed within three to three and a half years after the contractor is appointed. After the improvement, the road will have trees on either side and proper drainage systems. The estimated cost of the project is Rs18 billion.
In December 2016, the ADB approved a $186.80 million loan to improve the country’s domestic and regional connectivity. The loan will be used by the government to upgrade the 115-km Narayanghat-Butwal road and 45-km Bhairahawa-Taulihawa road.