Nepal Army, the government appointed developer of the Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway, has shortlisted six firms interested in preparing the detailed project report (DPR) of the road. The six companies shortlisted by the Army on Friday are: AF-Consult of Switzerland, JV of Yooshin and Pyunghwa of Korea, Louis Berger Consulting of India, Meinhard Limited and Soosung Engineering Co of China and SMEC International of Japan.
The Army has said that it will provide 45 days to the shortlisted firms to submit the technical and financial proposals and evaluate those proposals within 15 to 20 days. Once the consultant to prepare the DPR of the expressway is appointed, the project office will provide a time period of around four months to complete the study and present the report to the Army, according to Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Gokul Bhandari.
More than a year since construction began, the Nepal Army is carrying out preliminary works without a DPR and a consulting agency for the mega structure—which is expected to be completed within four years.
After failing to purchase the DPR prepared by an Indian consortium allegedly for its high price, the army had called an expression of interest which saw participation of 17 firms.
The Army started the construction of the 76 km road on the basis of a feasibility study conducted by the Asian Development Bank in 2008. The Army is currently clearing trees and acquiring land in the project area.
An earlier administration led by KP Sharma Oli had entrusted the national defence force with under-taking the project by cancelling the decision of previous governments to invite Indian construction companies.
While the Nepal Army has taken charge of the project, domestic or international contractors will be tasked with most of the major construction works.
The army has no experience of doing technically challenging projects like an expressway although it has opened tracks of over a dozen crucial roads in difficult terrains. The expressway track was also opened by the Army.
While local contractors will do soil reinforcing, cutting and filling and cross drainage works, international contractors will work on high bridges and tunnels.
The Army has already selected around two dozen domestic contractors. It has signed agreements with five other contractors to supply construction equipment.
It will invite international bidders to build high bridges and tunnels once the DPR is ready.
Construction works began after then-prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal laid the foundation stone for the project in May 2017.
AF-Consult of Switzerland
JV of Yooshin and Pyunghwa of Korea
Louis Berger Consulting of India
Meinhard Limited of China
Soosung Engineering Co of China
SMEC International of Japan
The Kathmandu Post