Road, rail and water transport infrastructure gets Rs163.52 billion budgetThe government will also impose Rs 1 as infrastructure tax on gasoline imports to avoid budget shortfall for road repair and maintenance
The government has significantly increased the transportation infrastructure budget to Rs163.52 billion from the previous budget of Rs109 billion, putting strong emphasis on development of road and rail projects with reforms in work execution and management.
Announcing the budget for fiscal year 2019-20, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada said that the government will now build separate by-laws for faster implementation of large scale development projects and will encourage execution of the construction works in three shifts.
“The government will also impose Rs 1 as infrastructure tax on gasoline imports to avoid budget shortfall for road repair and maintenance,’ Minister Khatiwada said. “Provisions requiring the respective contractors to maintain the infrastructures for five years from the date of completion will also be put into effect.” According to the finance minister, the government will connect each of the provinces with at least two national highways and build one strategic road project in every constituency.
The finance minister has earmarked Rs19.18 billion for upgrading the East-West Highway to a dedicated four lane roadway and has announced plans to begin upgrading the Butwal-Narayangadh and Kamala-Kanchanpur sections in the next fiscal.
To blacktop the 435 km stretch of the under construction Mid-hill highway, the government has allocated Rs 12.20 billion and Rs13.63 billion to blacktop a 350 km stretch of the postal highway connecting Tarai districts.
The finance minister has allocated Rs15.1 billion to execute the Kathmandu-Tarai fast track being built by the Nepal Army and Rs7 billion to construct 200 bridges in the next fiscal year. The Nepal Army has recently submitted the Detailed Project Report of the fast track and the parliamentary National Concern and Co-ordination Committee has asked the government to approve the DPR at the earliest.
After completion of expansion works on the Koteshwor-Kalanki stretch in the Ring Road in the current fiscal, the government has also earmarked Rs 1.81 billion to upgrade the remaining portion of the Ring Road in the next fiscal year.
“To manage the current flow of traffic in Kathmandu, the government will, upgrade Suryabinayak-Dhulikhel road stretch and begin a detailed feasibility study of Tinkune-Koteshwor-Jadibuti tunnel way, underpass at New Baneshwor and flyover from Tripureshwor to Maitighar,” Minister Khatiwada said.
The government has allocated Rs7.70 billion to develop the East-West and North-South rail networks, mono and metro rail systems in Kathmandu and other major cities. “Construction of Birgunj-Kathmandu and Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu railway will be initiated within two years after carrying out a detailed feasibility study,” said the minister.
According to Khatiwada, construction of Kakadbhitta-Darchula electric railway will begin from the eastern side where the detailed feasibility study of the project has concluded and will be expanded to central and western parts after the studies of those portions conclude.
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