Kathmandu, June 25
Kush Kumar Joshi, Chairman of the Nepal Purbadhar Bikas Company Limited (NPBCL), said that the construction of the Kathmandu-Kulekhani-Hetauda Tunnel Highway would turn out to be more economical and efficient for the country.
The NPBCL has set to construct the Tunnel Highway based on a concept of ‘4Ps’ i.e. Public, Private and People Partnership, model. The people living along the highway can also invest in the project. The total cost of the project is estimated around Rs. 20 billion.
With the completion of the road, it will take around one hour to reach Hetauda from Kathmandu. There are two to three alternative ways at present to reach Hetauda from Kathmandu. All these roads take around 7-8 hours. According to him, the construction of the highway would save around Rs. 7 billion in the present fuel consumption.
Talking to The Rising Nepal, Joshi said that the road would turn a lifeline for the country if it was completed within the stipulated timeframe.
He informed that it will take around six months for the detailed feasibility study of the project and around three and a half years to complete the whole project.
"The tunnel highway road will come into operation within next three and a half years," said Joshi. He said that the detailed project report would be completed within the next two months.
The NPBC shareholders include the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal, Non-resident Nepalis, and 50,000 locals from 26 village development committees of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Makawanpur districts. The locals would invest Rs 10,000 each in the project, according to the company.
Of the total length 50 km of the project, a 3-km long tunnel road will be built between Bhimphedi and Kulekhani in Makawanpur district that can be crossed in three minutes, according to the NPBC.
The tunnel stretch alone will need an investment of around Rs 10 billion.
Fulbright Consultancy has prepared proposal for the Kathmandu-Hetauda Tunnel Highway. The road was planed to reduce the travel time to Hetauda. Currently, people travelling to Hetauda have to take either the 133-km long Tribhuvan Highway or the Kathamndu-Mugling-Hetauda route that is 227-km long.
Once the highway comes into operation, the planned four-lane tunnel highway will serve a daily traffic of 6,000 vehicles.
The Tribuvan Highway, which was built 55 years ago under the Government of India’s grant assistance, is used by around 200 vehicles for travelling to Hetauda everyday.
Recently, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works and the NPBCL have signed the preliminary agreement at the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.