Kathmandu. A contract has been signed for the expansion of the four-lane road from Kamala in Dhanusha to Kanchanrup in Saptari under the East-West Highway. According to the ADB Directorate of the Department of Roads, the Chinese company has won the contract to complete the work at a cost of around Rs 15 billion.
CHINA RAILWAY NO. Deepak Shrestha, head of the directorate, said that two engineering group companies have won the contract for both the sections of the road extension. The contract was called for by dividing the 80-kilometer road into two sections.
The Chinese company won the contract at 24 percent less than the estimated cost. Chief Shrestha said that the contractor has already been deployed in the area and is conducting a construction survey, crusher installation, and other works. For that, 2 dozen Chinese technicians have reached the field.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has invested in the project at a concessional interest rate.
What is the road like?
There will be a median (divider structure) in the middle of the expanding Kamala-Kanchanrup road. There will be two lanes of 7-7 meters on each side. One lane will be 3.5 meters.
Tree plants and flowers will be planted by preparing greenery belts in ‘Median’. There is a plan to do a 2 and a half meter soldier (extra pitch) from right to left. Service lanes will be constructed in both directions in the main settlements and urban areas of this section. Accordingly, the road in the slum area will have 6 lanes.
In order to expand this section, 4600 trees have to be cut down except Pothra. Shrestha said that permission has been obtained from the government for that.
“The forest ministry has given permission to cut down the trees. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is also working to move the poles,” he said.
Many expansion plans
This road is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Nepal. Not only for the tourists visiting the Eastern Hills and Central Terai but also for the locals of the region, it is the main route to the west including Kathmandu.
Nijgadh is being connected by expressway from Kathmandu. A six-lane road has been widened from Birgunj to Pathalaiya. If the road from Pathalaiya of Bara to Dhalkebar (Kamala) of Mahottari is widened, it will be easier to reach Nijgadh
Besides, construction work is underway to widen the Vittamod (Janakpur) -Dhalkebar road to six lanes. The department says that when all the projects are completed, the area will be surrounded by modern highways and it will be easy to connect local economic activities with Kathmandu.
The World Bank has shown interest in investing in the expansion of the road from Kamala to Pathalaiya. Shiva Hari Sapkota, the spokesperson of the Road Department, says that ADB is positive to expand the Pathalaiya-Hetauda-Narayangadh road. DPR is being prepared under the plan to build a four-lane road from Kanchanrup to Kankadvitta in Jhapa.
If the work is done as planned, at least 4 lane road will be constructed from Birgunj to Kanchanrup in a few years. According to the department, this will improve the connectivity of the capital with the Terai and ease the movement.
At present, the main highways are being widened as per the plan. The Muglin-Narayangadh road has been widened to two lanes with the assistance of the World Bank, while a contract is being prepared to expand the Muglin-Nagdhunga road to two dedicated lanes.
Similarly, the construction of the 4-lane Butwal-Narayangadh road section has been started with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The contract for the middle section of the three sections divided into four lanes for Muglin Pokhara Road has already been signed. DPR of one section is being prepared and bid evaluation of one section is underway. ADB is also investing in the expansion of the Muglin Pokhara section.