Wed, 19 June, 2024

China allocates fund for Ring Road project, unveils sketch design

Staff Reporter Apr 08, 2024

Kathmandu : The Republic of China has sent a proposed sketch of the ‘preliminary design’ for the Kalanki-Maharajgunj road expansion project to the Nepal government.

The Nepal government has received the sketch design from China five years after the Nepal government started the ‘site clearance’ work.  

The China-funded road widening project had not moved ahead ‘over the delay in the site-clearance work.’ However, the project was in limbo after the China government did not allocate the budget for it on time. Now, China has appropriated the budget to carry out the project, it is learnt.

“We have heard that China has appropriated the budget for the Ring Road expansion project,” said Krishna Nath Ojha, the chief of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project, “A letter regarding the preliminary sketch design has arrived from China.”

The preliminary sketch design has vividly mentioned the details of the bridge, culvert among others. However, the China government has not prepared the DPR of the 8.2 km Kalanki-Maharajgunj road project, yet.

“The Chinese side has sent a preliminary sketch design. It will prepare a DPR once we provide inputs into it,” said Ojha.

Even though the agreement was reached between the Nepal government and China in 2018, the Chinese team did not expedite it citing ‘the COVID-19 pandemic’ and the ‘lack of site clearance.’

The second-phase of eight-lane road is being constructed with the Chinese aid. According to the agreement, side-lane and sewerage will be built by Nepal. The work is ongoing.

A team comprising then Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), and Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Kulman Ghising had conducted a site visit on February 23, 2023 after the Ring Road expansion project slowed to a snail’s pace.

The second phase of the Ring Road expansion project is ongoing. The government has felled the trees, removed electric poles and laid down hume pipes for sewage system. 

While the road on the China side is wide enough, it is narrower on the Nepal side, creating difficulties for cargo trucks to transport goods to Kathmandu. China is financing both Ring Road and Rasuwagadhi road expansion projects.

Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Balendra Shah, on March 13, had complained to the concerned body of China over the delay of the second phase of Ring Road expansion drive.

“How to believe the news that China can construct huge infrastructures in 24 hours,” said Mayor Balen, “How to believe that the far-flung areas of Nepal will develop while the infrastructure development of the federal capital is itself at a snail’s pace.”

He attributed the failure to keep the roads clean in Kathmandu to the delay in the Ring Road improvement project for years.

The vehicles entering the capital via the Ring Road do carry the dust to every corner of the city. Even though staffers are working hard to sweep the roads, spray them down with water, and remove leaves, many inner roads remain dusty and in poor condition, claimed Mayor Balen.

The China government, which had started the Koteshwar-Kalanki expansion project under the Ring Road Improvement Project in June 2013, handed over the 10.5km road to the Nepal government in January 2019.