Second Phase of Kathmandu Ring Road: Project Site in Dire Straits, Chinese Firm Yet to Arrive

In a setback for infrastructure development in Nepal, the Chinese construction company tasked with the second phase of the Kathmandu Ring Road Expansion Project has encountered significant delays, sparking confusion and frustration among stakeholders. Despite over a year and a half passing since preparatory work began at the project site, construction has yet to commence, leaving the Nepalese government and residents in limbo.

The Nepalese government, having undertaken tasks such as tree removal, relocation of water pipes, and electric poles, is awaiting the commencement of construction by the Chinese side. However, there have been ongoing hesitations from the Chinese company, further exacerbating the situation.

As a result of this delay, the project site has begun to deteriorate, with construction materials and parked vehicles encroaching on both sides of the service lane. Moreover, the accumulation of excavated soil poses risks of potential accidents if not promptly addressed.

With the monsoon season fast approaching in Nepal, concerns are growing over the impact on the roadways. The combination of dust, rain, and muddy conditions, exacerbated by unfinished construction, poses significant challenges for residents and commuters.

Adding to the frustration, the Chinese company has failed to deliver the detailed study report (DPR) for the project, despite earlier assurances. A technical team from China’s Henan Communications Planning and Design Institute Company had committed to completing the design work within two months during their visit to the project site in Falgun 2079 BS. However, the promised DPR has yet to materialize, adding to the frustration and uncertainty surrounding the project’s progress.

In the project’s second phase, the road was to be extended from Kalanki to Dhobi Kholapul (Chabahil). However, the Chinese company expressed interest only in extending it up to Maharajgunj, citing the need for land acquisition and demolition of structures between Maharajgunj and Chabahil. The government plans to expand this 11-kilometer section into eight lanes.

Government officials say that the Chinese side, which earlier said that it would come to the site as soon as it is cleared, is now out of touch. Vijay Jaisi, Head of the Development Assistance Coordination Division under the Roads Department, said that they have not yet received information about the arrival of the Chinese side, even though they said they would come soon. “It has been said that it will come soon, but so far there is no information about when it will come,” he says, “The Chinese side has not been in contact lately.”

The goal is to expand the four-lane road to eight lanes. An initial estimate is that the expansion of the Kalanki-Maharajganj ring road section will cost 6 Arba rupees. As the final report of the design is not yet available, the cost has not been determined.

A preliminary study has indicated that the sky bridge will be constructed in three different locations within that section. The Chinese company has already conducted the initial survey and study of that area. It is planned that the Chinese company will manage the DPR, contractor, supervision, and construction materials themselves.

Previously, on Falgun 19, 2079 BS, a joint team, including the then Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song, conducted an on-site inspection of the project.

Simultaneously, government officials who had stated they would complete the design work within two months and proceed with the contracting process are also facing confusion due to the Chinese side. Recently, Kathmandu Metropolis has expressed dissatisfaction with the project’s delay.

The confusion in the project’s construction work is escalating due to the delayed start of work. Additionally, the Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Balendra Shah, is dissatisfied with the residents’ suffering caused by mud and sludge during the rainy season.

The government is preparing to hand over the project to the Chinese side to facilitate the expansion of the second phase of the ring road within two years. The expansion of the ring road will be funded by China. Previously, the Kalanki-Koteshwar ring road was also constructed in the first section with assistance from the Chinese government.


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