The locals in Makwanpur have agreed to invest on the dream project that is going to be the first tunnel road in the country.
"We are ready to invest Rs 10,000 as shares," they said, during the mass meeting at Markhu of Makwanpur.
"It is an example of how private sector can be development partner by investing on infrastructure," said immediate past president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and coordinator of the Users’ Community Group Kush Kumar Joshi.
The proposed fast track road with 3.5-km long tunnel will cost Rs 20 billion," he said, adding that the 50-km long road will connect the Valley with the Southern plane of Hetauda.Currently, Hetauda is linked with Kathmand by two highways — one 227 km and the other 133 km. "But the proposed tunnel fast track will have only 50 km and takes only an hour," Joshi added.
The community group has also formed Nepal Purbadhar Bikash Company (NPBC) with 86 local and 76 entrepreneurs as its promoters. "We have applied to the government for the licence," said one of the promoters of NPBC and Federation of Contractors' Association of Nepal (FCAN) president.
The VDCs in Makawanpur and Kathmandu are investing for a proposed 50-km Kathmandu-Hetauda fast track road that will not only reduce driving length between the two cities to one hour by consuming less fuel but also help reduce population concentration in Kathmandu Valley.
Though, Hetauda-Kathmandu aerial distance is only 37 km, the present road – Tribhuwan Highway – that links the two cities is 133-km. Currently, travellers have to spend more than eight hours to reach Hetauda from Kathmandu, and pay high fares burning the petroleum products that have threatened the country's total financial stability.
"We are also inviting Non-Resident Nepalese (NRNs) to invest on the dream project," Joshi said, adding that the project will be completed in four years and in next five years the investment will be returned.
The project will be operated in BOOT model and the local bodies will be the share holders.
"By the side of the proposed fast track many satellite cities can also be developed that will reduce the population concentration in the overcrowded Valley,” Joshi said, adding that a preliminary study showed that a tunnel – of a length of three-and-a-half kilometers – has to be constructed in a section of the proposed fast track at Gadhi Chour-Chisapani.
The idea of the constructing fast track road has been floated since Girija Prasad Koirala became the Prime Minister post 1990 movement but could not be materialised. "But this time, the locals are committed to construct the dream highway, Lamichhane — who also hails from Chitlang — said, adding that the locals whose land will be used for road and labourers will get share in the company.