Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ring Road expansion begins with Chinese assistance

Vice-president Paramananda Jha and visiting state councillor of China Yang Jiechi today jointly inaugurated the first phase of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project, formally.
After 40 years of the construction of Ring Road in the assistance of northern neighbour, the 27-km road around the Kathmandu city is being upgraded and expanded also with the support from China.
The current four-lane two-way road is going to be expanded to eight lanes, with a two-way bicycle lane and a pedestrian way. The road will be expanded in three phases.
In the first phase, nine-km Kalanki-Koteshwor section will be widened – including intersection improvement in three locations, bus stations and parking lots – that will cost around Rs 5.27 billion. The three junctions — Kalanki, Satdobato and Kotestwor — will be expanded for smooth traffic movement. The first phase is expected to be completed in 40 months.
The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation of China had prepared the design of the nine-km section of the Ring Road.
According to the Physical Planning, Infrastructure and Transport, Shanghai Construction would first construct one-km model road in two locations at the Balkhu River-UML headquarter and Ekantakuna-Gwarko sections.
The widened road would provide better traffic movement to inner roads and ease pressure in the city, said Minister for Physical Planning, Infrastructure and Transport Chhabi Raj Pant addressing the inaugural ceremony.
“The road has been designed incorporating a bicycle lane and a pathway for pedestrians,” he added.
The visiting Chinese vice-minister of Commerce Zengwei, on the occasion, said that the road witnessed tremendous changes in the last 30-40 years and needed upgradation and expansion.
Nepal and China had signed and exchanged the Letters of Exchange for a Chinese grant of Rs 547 million for the widening of the Ring Road and other mutually agreed projects in February 2011.
In December, 2012, the Department of Roads and Chinese contractor Shanghai Construction Group Company had signed an agreement for the improvement of the nine-km section of the Ring Road.
Earlier, China had shown interest in helping construct an Outer Ring Road in the Kathmandu valley but the plan could not take off due to failure in land acquisition, and the Chinese government has instead proposed the aid to be used in widening of current Ring Road.


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