Nagdhunga tunnel one step closer to constructionThe Roads Department has received a detailed project report (DPR) for the Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel which was prepared by a Japanese consultant, bringing the project one step closer to construction.
The Roads Department has received a detailed project report (DPR) for the Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel which was prepared by a Japanese consultant, bringing the project one step closer to construction.
The Rs20-billion underground passage that will be built beneath the western rim of the Kathmandu Valley is expected to slash travel time by eliminating the numerous switchbacks on this stretch of the highway.
Nippon Koei of Japan, which was also been assigned to supervise the building, submitted the DPR and the bidding documents to the Roads Department
The department is currently reviewing the design details and the bidding documents. After the review is completed and the DPR is approved, it will call for bids from interested contractors to build the tunnel connecting Naubise and Nagdhunga.
“We are going though the report submitted by the consultant,” said Sanjay Kumar Shrestha, chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the Roads Department. “We will take ownership of the report after a thorough review and initiate the public procurement process to appoint a contractor to develop the project.”
The department is planning to complete the procurement process and appoint the contractor by the end of the fiscal year. The Nagdhunga Tunnel Project has two components: Construction of a 2.45-km tunnel from Basnetchhap to Sisne Khola and a 2.6-km approach road from Basnetchhap to Thankot. The proposed tunnel will have two 3.5-metre lanes and a 2.5-metre shoulder.
It will also have LED lighting, mechanical ventilation, evacuation tunnel door
and emergency telephone service.Likewise, the approach road will have two bridges, toll booths and a roadside rest area for travellers. The rest area, spread over 4,650 square metres, will have parking space for nine heavy vehicles and 23 light vehicles, fast food restaurants, shops and toilets. The cost of the project is expected to around Rs20.2 billion.
The tunnel and approach road are expected to cut travel time over the mountainous route from Nagdhunga to Naubise, the main gateway to Kathmandu. It will eliminate the circuitous route over the Valley’s rim and cut travel time. Also, traffic flow is expected to become smoother on the stretch after the tunnel is built.
The tunnel project will be implemented with a loan from the Japanese government. Nepal and Japan signed an official development assistance loan agreement worth Rs15.2 billion for the construction of the tunnel in December 2016. The loan repayment period has been fixed at 40 years and the grace period at 10 years. The loan carries an interest rate of 0.01 percent per year.