Indian consortium to prepare DPR in four months Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track Project

Indian Consortium to Prepare DPR in Four Months 
Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track Project
March 14, 2015

Kathmandu, March 13: The government has decided to sign an agreement with an Indian consortium to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Kathmandu Tarai Fast Track Project. Officials say MoU with the consortium of IL & FS Transportation Network and IL & FS Engineering & Construction, and Suryavir Infrastructure Construction is likely to be signed on Monday. As per the preliminary discussions, the consortium will have to prepare DPR for the 76-kilometer expressway that connects Kathmandu with Tarai within four months. Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), said that DPR will bring out the project cost, and it's financial and other technical details including passenger car units for toll collection. "It will provide a basis to start national pride project," he said, adding that the consortium has already been invited to sign MoU. In the negotiation with the Indian consortium, the government's negotiation team, led by Rabindra Nath Shrestha, joint secretary of MoPIT, had proposed to calculate project cost and passenger car unit to count toll rate on the basis of feasibility study carried out by Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007. But the team later concluded that DPR should be prepared before awarding contract.

A member of the team told Republica that they decided to prepare DPR before deciding on other specifications like project cost. The team had tried to assess the project's cost based on ADB's estimated cost -- Rs 87 billion. The consortium has proposed project cost at Rs 317 billion. It has also proposed to charge toll fee of Rs 1568 per car. Officials say they cannot decide on project specifications without preparing DPR. A member of the negotiation team even the lowest bidder quoted very high cost because it had no idea about the real cost and the traffic on the expressway. "The DPR will give a clear picture on different specifications about the project," the member added. Sitaula said they will sign MoU with Indian firm to prepare DPR. "The firm has been demanding Rs 600 million to prepare DPR. We will decide the cost later on as per the existing law," he added. According to Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) Act 2063, the developer will have to bear the cost of preparing. The consortium was selected lowest bidder in terms of project cost and traffic volume it quoted through Letter of Intent and Request for Proposal three months ago. Altogether three firms had submitted Letter of Intent and Request for Proposal.
The government has already announced to provide grant of Rs 15 billion to make the project financially viable. With the recent closure of Tribhuwan International Airport for four days, officials have said they would focus on expediting the development of second international airport at the earliest. The expressway is said to be crucial for the financial viability of the new international airport.