KATHMANDU, APR 21:
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has formed an expert panel to evaluate the detailed project report (DPR) of Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track road.
The panel or expert group has five members under coordination of Hari Om Srivastav, former joint secretary of MoPIT and general member of Nepali Congress.
Hari Prasad Dhakal and Bhoj Bahadur Dhakal, both former government officials, Advocate Ankit Dhakal and Chartered Accountant Parameshwor Mahaseth are in the committee as experts from related sectors.
oPIT officials said that the panel was formed based on a provision included in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the contractor — a consortium of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Transportation Networks, IL&FS Engineering and Construction, and Suryavir Infrastructure Construction — last month to prepare the DPR.
“This group of experts will monitor the entire DPR preparation process — also visiting project site, if required,” said Satayandra Shakya, chief of Fast Track Project. After completion of DPR, the group will also validate the report of the expressway project, which is so far estimated to cost around Rs 100 billion.
Going by the MoU, the DPR has to be submitted within mid-July. After the IL&FS consortium sought minimum revenue guarantee (MRG) of Rs 317 billion for the project, MoPIT had faced severe criticism for mulling over signing the contract without considering about the possible ramifications if the MRG is not met through toll charge.
It had even been suggested that it might be more feasible for the government to build the project with its own resources. In the technical and financial proposals received from IL&FS consortium and Oriental Structural Engineers of India, the IL&FS consortium was ranked as lowest evaluated substantially responsive successful bidder.
After facing criticism and realising that the quoted MRG and traffic flow was too high, MoPIT had decided to go for DPR first. MoPIT has been saying that based on DPR report, it could assign the project to the contractor itself, build the project utilising government’s own resources or look for other alternatives.
The DPR is expected to give clear picture on the cost required for the project and traffic estimation. Conditions set on the MoU require the IL&FS consortium to prepare DPR of the expressway and upgradation of the 18-km Nijgadh-Pathalaiya to four lanes at its own cost.
Meanwhile, the consortium of IL&FS has submitted an inception report of the project briefing the MoPIT about methodology and plans on how it is conducting the DPR. Shakya said that he was yet to go through the details of the report and it will also be submitted to the expert group soon for review.