Fast-track: ‘Effective political initiative a must”
The Defense Ministry has pointed out the need of effective political initiative to resolve Khokana land problem in order to accelerate construction of Kathmandu-Tarai fast-track.
Although initiatives were taken to resolve the problem in order to accelerate construction of the fast-track, the problems have remained intact. Kathmandu-Tarai fast-track is one of the national pride projects of the country.
In the second quarter progress review of the ministry, Chief of Army Staff, Prabhu Ram Sharma, said, “Discussion was held from ward chairpersons to Prime Minister on the issue of Khokana. There is no protest from anywhere. But the problem could not be resolved yet.”
Parliamentary monitoring was carried out time and again on the issue of land acquisition of Khokana area for the fast-track and the Nepali Army has been making inter-body coordination by forming a special mechanism.
Locals of Khokana has been protesting the construction of fast-track with the fear of being displaced as there would be outer ring-road, dry-port as well as other big projects at Khokana.
The Nepali Army has got the responsibility to construct the fast-track. It has been constructing the fast-track leaving construction of around four kilometers area of the section, where locals have been continuously protesting, as the NA has to complete the project within the deadline.
CoAS Sharma opined, “Around 80 per cent locals, out of the locals whose land are used for the construction of fast-track, have already received compensation. Only 20 per cent locals have been protesting.”
Similarly, Secretary at the Ministry, Kiran Raj Sharma, said, “Effective political initiative is necessary to resolve the Khokana land dispute.”
Altogether 5,772 ropanis of land should be acquired for the construction of fast-track, compensation of 4,780 ropanis of land has been distributed so far. Distribution of 392 ropanis of land of Khokana area has not been distributed due to locals protest.
The 72.529-kilometer fast-track is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 175 billion. A total of Rs 29.99 billion budget has been allocated for the project in the current fiscal year.