KATHMANDU: A total 1259 km stretch of 1,879 km-Mid-hill Highway has been blacktopped achieving 67 percent progress. Of the total blacktopped section, 797 km was completed by the project office itself and 462 km through other agencies.
Arjun Jung Thapa, Director General of the Department of Roads (DoR) said a 415 km stretch of the highway roads will be completed with blacktopping during the current fiscal year 2022/23. However, the contract for the 205 km length is yet to be awarded. According to DoR, the construction of 93 bridges has been completed under the plan of constructing 137 bridges on the highway. Similarly, 25 bridges are under construction. Many of these bridges will be completed in the current financial year. The remaining 19 bridges are yet to be managed. About Rs 59 billion has been spent on the project till last June which represents 69 to 79 percent of the total cost of the project. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 84 billion.
Although the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has set a deadline for the completion of the project within the current fiscal year, the project has not yet been completed. In 2021, the target was set to blacktop 340 km of the highway. However, at the end of the year, only 146 km of the road was blacktopped. The project could construct only 3 bridges against the target of 24 bridges during the year. Thapa said that the expected progress could not be achieved during the last fiscal year due to the effects of Covid-19, in the last financial year due to effects of Covid-19, the substitution bill of the government, and the construction professionals’ ‘Construction Holiday’.