Thursday, March 21, 2013

Projects of national pride record mixed performance

Projects of national pride have posted mixed performances.
"Of the total 17 projects of national pride evaluated today, some have performed better and others have not," said secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Krishna Hari Baskota.
"Construction work at the Melamchi Water Project is going to start soon," he said, adding that the government is holding talks with development partner Asian Development Bank to award two contracts for the project.
Likewise, the three irrigation projects — Sikta, Ranijamara Kulariya and Babai — have entered into a performance contract with the ministry and are under construction," Baskota added. "Of the total 50km, some 35km canal of Sikta Irrigation project will be completed in this fiscal year."
The government has allocated an additional Rs 520 million for the project in the current fiscal year to expedite the project.
The Ranijamara Kulariya Irrigation Project has also received an additional Rs 640 million, whereas Babai Irrigation has received Rs 470 million that was spent on the construction of a 401m-long siphon, he informed.
Similarly, Nepal Army has opened the track of the 76.2km fast-track road that will connect Kathmandu with the Tarai. "The government is planning to invite the private sector for its construction," according to Baskota. "The track of the 1,776km Lokmarga will be opened within the current fiscal year, work on one section of the 1,798km Hulaki Highway is underway, and work on Koshi-Gandagi and Karnali corridors that will connect north and south is also satisfactory."
However, the second international airport at Nijgarh of Bara, and regional airports at Bhairahawa and Pokhara have not picked up. "Project chiefs and Ministry of Physical Planning have also not yet entered into a performance contract," he said, showing concern on the low performance of these projects.
A French company is preparing the detailed project report of the 700 MW Budi Gandagi Hydropower, and 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower is also showing satisfactory performance, whereas Chinese company Three Gorges is studying the 750 MW West Seti Hydropower, the secretary informed, promising not to let these projects of national pride face a budget and manpower crunch.

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