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Lawmakers concerned over slow construction of Fast Track

Kathmandu, Dec. 1: Lawmakers have expressed concern why the construction of fast track linking the Kathmandu Valley to Tarai was slowed despite the passage of a decade since the beginning.
During the meeting of the Development and Technology Committee under the House of Representatives on Friday, the lawmakers said it was worrying that detailed project report of the fast track was not prepared till date. Initiating the undertaking by Nepal Army without preparing DPR would not ensure quality, they argued.
Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport, Raghubir Mahaseth, however, said the problems surfaced after the Nepal Army was tasked to construct the fast track without holding discussion with the Ministry and Road Department.
“Finance Ministry sends the budget for fast track to the Nepal Army’s account through the Ministry of Physical Infrastructures and Transport. Except this, there is no role to the Ministry I am leading. The Ministry must be given the task of inspection and monitoring, and after the completion, Road Department will look after it. For this, both Ministry and the Department need making preparation,” Minister Mahaseth argued.
He further said there were some technical glitches in the project because the DPR was not prepared. He wondered how the tender was made for the construction of 30 bridges on the express way and it was not clear who examined it.
In the beginning of the meeting, Bina Kumari Shrestha questioned whether or not the issue related to fast track was under the jurisdiction of the Development Committee as discussion on the fast track was also taking place in the State Affairs Committee.
Similarly, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi reminded that after he assumed the office of the Minister for Physical Infrastructure in 2066 BS, he urged the bodies concerned for study and monitoring of the fast track for time and again, but in vein.
Likewise, lawmakers—Jhalanath Khanal, Ganesh Pahadi, Jipchhiring Lama, Prabhu Saha, Asha Kumari BK, Damodar Bhandari, Tek Bahadur Basnet, Rangamati Shahi, Indu Sharna, and Anil Kumar Jha, among others stressed the need of carrying out works related to fast track as soon as possible by resolving the obstruction at Khokana.
Committee President Kalyan Kumari Khadka said the Committee decided to direct the bodies concerned to complete the task within deadline by resolving all problems surfaced in course of construction.
Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Madhusudan Adhikari, informed the meeting that the responsibility for the construction of the fast track was given to the Nepal Army from the last July as per decision of cabinet meeting held in May.
Major General (Technical) of the Nepal Army, Yogendra Bahadur Khand, briefed the meeting on problems and progress of fast track construction.

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