KATHMANDU, Oct 26: Officials have expected gloomy report regarding the progress in implementation of national pride projects during the first quarter of current fiscal year in absence of full-fledged budget unlike last year when the government posted satisfactory implementation report.
“We are likely to get a disappointing report regarding the progress in execution of national pride projects in the first quarter of this fiscal year due to lack of full-fledged budget to speed up works,” Tulasi Prsad Sitaula, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) told Republica.
The government has designated eleven projects as national pride projects to ensure smooth implementation through sufficient budget and other priorities.
Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track, Mid-hill Highway, East-West Railway, Postal Roads and North-South Highway are among the national pride projects being implemented by the MoPPW.
Similarly, Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, Sikta Irrigation Project, Ranijamara Irrigation Project, Babai Irrigation Project, Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, Melamchi Drinking Water Project, Regional airport in Pokhara and Bhairawa and West Seti Hydropower Project, second international airport in Nijgadh are also among the other national pride projects.
“The progress of these projects last year was satisfactory even though they were not moving as per the schedule. But the implementation of the projects failed to take any momentum during the last three months,” Sitaula said.
However, National Planning Commission (NPC) -- the apex policy making body of the government, which conducted an annual review of all the national pride projects this week, has also said that the progress on all the projects was satisfactory.
Progress reports of all the projects have not been submitted to the ministry as of yet.
“But as per our regular correspondence with the responsible persons from the field, the progress is not exciting,” Sitaula added.
The government has called for expression of interest (EoI) for the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track, a 76km express-way that connects Kathmandu with Nijghad. According to NPC, 42 km track has already been completed for construction of the expressway.
NPC report also states that 190km track has been opened for teh construction of Mid-hill Highway.
The Indian government which has agreed to provide assistance for the construction of around 1600 km postal road has said that it would speed up implementation of the projects to accomplish the target of road construction in the Tarai region.
According to Hariom Srivastav, joint secretary at the MoPPW, the Indian government has already awarded the contracts to the developers.