The Department of Road (DoR) is mulling to start the second phase of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project from October which includes upgradation of a 8.2-km stretch linking Kalanki with Maharajgunj.
Under the project to be funded by the Chinese government, the 8.2-km stretch will be widened to a 50-metre wide road along with additional 6-metre wide lanes on both sides of the road for public movement.
Currently, the department is waiting for the detailed design from the Chinese side and once they submit the design, it will be reviewed by the DoR.
Once the department approves the detailed design of the road, the Chinese side will start the construction by appointing a contractor.
Also, the project office has initiated the process to clear the road for the expansion.
It has to remove electricity poles and pipes supplying drinking water and cut down trees that fall under the road’s right of way.
While Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) will remove their respective structures lying on the right of way of the road, the project itself will cut down the trees in the area.
The project has already provided the first installment fund to the NEA and KUKL while it is negotiating with the Forest Ministry to cut down the trees for the road expansion.
“We are planning to complete the clearance well before October, so that the Chinese side can start the construction immediately once their design is approved by the department,” said Prakash Bhandari, the DoR appointed project chief of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project.
Currently, China has been upgrading the Koteshwor-Ekantakuna-Kalanki section under the first phase of the project. Nepal and China signed a pact to improve the 10-km segment in 2012. The construction that begun in June 2013 was supposed to be completed in 2017 but the completion deadline was pushed to July 2018 due to the delays caused by the 2015 earthquake and the Indian border blockade.
The DoR is once again mulling to put off the completion deadline by a few months in order to construct install some additional overhead bridge on the road which were not the part of original design.
The project decided to add overhead bridges along the road after it was criticised for undermining the safety of pedestrians and other road users.
Civil society members have long been raising their concerns about the stretch having few crossing points along the busiest road in the Kathmandu Valley. Following such complaints, the authorities had decided to add zebra crossings and overhead bridges along the road.
The Kathmandu Post