Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel: Govt to publish global tender for tunnel way projectThe Department of Road (DoR) is all set to invite interested contractors to build the first-ever tunnel way in the Kathmandu Valley’s western hills connecting Nagdhunga and Naubise.
The Department of Road (DoR) is all set to invite interested contractors to build the first-ever tunnel way in the Kathmandu Valley’s western hills connecting Nagdhunga and Naubise. The department has said it would publish global tender notice for construction of Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel by the end of March.
The detailed project report (DPR) of the infrastructure project is almost complete. The department will get it from the consultant by next week. The department had hired Nippon Koei, a Japanese consultant, to prepare the DPR and supervise the construction last year.
“Once we get the report, we will review and approve it before floating the global tender notice,” said Sanjay Kumar Shrestha, chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the department. “We will be in a position to call on contractors to submit request for proposal by the end of March.”
The DoR is planning to complete the procurement process and appoint the contractor by the end of this fiscal year. “If everything goes as per our plan, the contractor hired for the project will be deployed at the project site by the end of this fiscal year,” said Shrestha.
The tunnel, which will be bored through the hills in the western part of the Valley, is being built using loan provided by the Japanese government. It is being built on the key highway linking Kathmandu with the national highway network and the Indian border in the south. The Nagdhunga tunnel will eliminate the circuitous route over the Valley’s rim and cut travel time.
The Japanese government had signed an official development assistance loan agreement with the Nepal government worth Rs15.2 billion for 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.
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 tunnel and approach road are expected to cut travel time over the mountainous route from Nagdhunga to Naubise, the main gateway to Kathmandu. Also, traffic flow is expected to become smoother on the stretch after the tunnel is built.
The Nagdhunga-Naubise section is prone to gridlock due to presence of many hairpin bends and its vulnerability to landslides. The proposed tunnel will have two 3.5-metre lanes and a 2.5-metre shoulder. It will also have LED lighting facility, mechanical ventilation, evacuTation 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 hover around Rs20.2 billion.