MoPIT tables proposal to award Fast Track project to Indian firm

Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has tabled a proposal to award Kathmandu-Tarai/Madhes Fast Track Road to an Indian firm in the cabinet.

The cabinet held preliminary discussion on the proposal tabled by Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi on Friday. It has also decided to form a committee under Govind Raj Pokhrel, vice chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) to review the proposal.
The committee has been given five days to review the proposal. This means the Sushil Koirala-led government is bent on awarding the mega project to the Indian firm before new government is formed.

The process to elect new government is beginning in two weeks.

Officials say the proposal has not incorporated suggestions give by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law and Justice. Among others, the finance ministry had suggested MoPIT to hire a team of experts, including an international consultant, to analyze technical, legal and financial aspects of the project.

The estimated cost of the project which will connect Tarai with the 76-km expressway is US$ 112 billion as proposed by the consortium of Indian developer led by IL & FS.

Likewise, the law and justice ministry had pointed out serious issues in the procurement process.

Sources at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers told Republica that MoPIT has tabled the proposal in haste, at a time when the government was concentrated on promulgation of new constitution.

Source: MyRepublica