What is the status of domestic transport connectivity in Nepal?

Transport infrastructure has formed the backbone of Nepal’s development strategy. The National Planning Commission has identified 21 “national pride projects” of which 10 are directly related to transport infrastructure, three aviation-related, one railway-related, one fast-track related and the remaining ones are about building highways. Nepal’s transport infrastructure had mainly focused on roads and aviation until very recently. At the regional level, the Asian Highway routes link Nepal with China and India via two highways:   1027 kilometers long AH2 (Kakarvitta – Mahendranagar) and 297 kilometers long AH42 (Raxaul – Narayanghat – Kathmandu – Kodari).

Nepal’s road network comprises of Strategic Road Network (SRN) that is made up of national highway and feeder roads with total length of 13447 kilometers as of FY 2017/18. In addition, total length of other local road network was 60,163 kilometers as of FY 2018/19.  Construction of roads along the North-South corridors, a mid-hill highway, a postal highway, the Madan Bhandari highway, and the Kathmandu-Terai fast track are some exciting plans of the Government. In aviation, Nepal has an international airport in Kathmandu, four regional domestic airports, and 28 other domestic airports in operation. Two regional international airports, Gautam Buddha in Lumbini and one in Pokhara are now nearing completion, while preparatory works are underway to develop the Nijgadh International Airport in Bara District.