GOVT TO MOBILIZE DOMESTIC RESOURCES TO BUILD FAST TRACK ROAD
KATHMANDU, May 9: Putting an end to confusion surrounding execution of the much-awaited Kathmandu Tarai-Madesh Fast Track, the government in it Policy and Programs for Fiscal Year 2016/17 unveiled on Sunday announced to build the 76-kilometer expressway by mobilizing internal resources. This road project is said to crucial to facilitate north south connectivity. Eight years after search for a developer to build the road began, the government has finally become confident that it has resources to execute the project. But as the government decision to award the project to an Indian firm is sub judice, the government will have to wait till the Supreme Court issues verdict in the case.
Though the Second International Airport in Nijgadh of Bara is interconnected with the expressway, the policy and programs is silent on the airport project. Likewise, the government has announced to upgrade Kakarbhitta-Butwal section of East-West Highway into a four-lane road. However, the decision has drawn criticism from infrastructure experts. "It is an irrational decision as traffic on this section is very low. I don't see it growing significantly in coming years as well," Surya Raj Acharya, an infrastructure policy expert, told Republica. Acharya stressed the need to build north-south roads instead. Experts have also questioned the rationale of spending taxpayers' money in East-West Railway Project. The Bardiwas-Simara section of the project is already under construction. The policy and programs says that the project will get continuity. The policy and programs document states that north-south road projects are in priority. But it has not specified any road projects as such. The document also states that district headquarters of Dolpa and Humla will be connected to national road network within two years. Similarly, it also states that all the roads connecting province headquarters will be upgraded into two-lanes and all national and strategic roads into four-lanes.
"Likewise, a special irrigation program focused on 22 districts of Tarai and inner Tarai will be implemented besides continuing other irrigation projects," the document states.
'DOMESTIC DEMAND CAN BE MET IN 2 YEARS'
The government has that it would be able to meet people's demand for electricity without two years. The policy and programs state that it aims to meet the target by expediting hydropower development and harnessing renewable energy sources. But the policy is about the government's earlier plan of importing huge amount of energy from to end the energy crisis in the short-term or two years. In the policy and programs, the government has announced that it will generate 10,000 MW of hydropower by 2026. The government has also said that it has kept Budhigandaki Hydroelectric project and West Seti Hydropower Project in priority.