Even though the country is in a state of political uncertainty, development works are going on a full swing to realise the present government’s goal of achieving rapid development and prosperity of the nation.
The reconstruction of many iconic buildings has reached the final stage or has completed. The construction of Dharahara has reached the final stage. The Kasthamandap temple is about to conclude. The Ranipokhari reconstruction has already completed and Durbar High School, the first school in the country, has come into operation after the completion of reconstruction.
During the National Development Action Committee (NDAC) meeting on January 16, where Rs. 665 billion was sought to revitalize the country’s overall economy, PM Oli had instructed the officials not to halt development works under any pretext and address any problems faced during the development works promptly. “We should not delay a second in fulfilling our national aspirations of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.”
Five years ago, the government had vowed to replace all tuins with suspension bridges. 128 tuins across the country have so far been replaced. People cross the rivers with the help of a tuin, a long hanging wire set up across a river.
When PM Oli had first taken charge as PM on October 12, 2015, he had decided to build suspension bridges by displacing tuins across the country. Suspension bridges have now replaced them. At the time, the government had identified a total of 143 tuins across the country to be replaced.
Kumar Thapa, planning chief of the suspension bridge division, said that the suspension bridges were constructed by the Department of Local Infrastructure (DoLI) under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. He said, “There is no tuin in any part of the country now. The risk of crossing rivers and streams by tuins has ended now.”
Now, construction of 14 tuins are undergoing at different parts of the country which will end by this fiscal, he said. Only one tuin construction work has been stalled in Darchula of Pancheshwor Dam site where the Indian official has not yet given the approval to construct the suspension bridge by replacing the tuin, according to Director General Ishwor Marahatta at Department of Local Infrastructure (DoLI).
According to the department, 28 suspension bridges have been constructed over the Gandaki and Karnali rivers, 27 in the far west, 22 in Bagmati, 18 in Lumbini and five in Province 1. Suspension bridges of 120 metres to 350 meters have been constructed to replace tuins.
Under the Tuin Displacement Programme, tuin, bamboo poles, wooden bridges and tubes have been replaced by suspension bridges.
The department has stated that 3.3 million people have directly benefited from the construction of the suspension bridges. According to the DoLI, the number of people seeking health care has increased by 32 per cent and the number of students going to school by crossing the suspension bridge has increased by 22 per cent.
Border outposts (BoPs)
Armed Police Force (APF) Nepal, the paramilitary force of the country, has set up 76 new border outposts (BoPs) as of the second quarter of the current fiscal year.
APF has expedited setting up new BoPs from the last fiscal year 2019/20 after the Cabinet meeting held in May decided to establish additional 100 new BoPs to existing 121 till the end of the current fiscal year.
With the establishment of 76 new BoPs, the total number of border outposts of APF in the border points connected with India in the south and China in the north reached 197.
Usually, the BoPs are manned by at least 35 security personnel of APF.
A draft prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs in May last year had proposed the government set up 500 BoPs in the next three years. But it has yet to receive a Cabinet nod, according to Joint Secretary and spokesperson at Ministry of Home Affairs Chakra Bahadur Budha.
“n a meeting held between Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ and other officials including IGP of APF Shailendra Khanal in May 2020, Khanal had asked for recruiting additional 9,000 human resources to have a visible presence of APF in the borders and meet the number in the added BoPs.
APF, which is entrusted to secure the national border and curb cross-border crimes, has a total strength of about 37,000.
Similarly, the government is executing its plan to set up more than 12 BoPs along the Chinese border.
Largest substation in operation
Inaugurating the country’s largest power substation- Dhalkebar Substation (400/220 KV) in Dhanusha district on February 1, Prime Minister Oli had expressed his confidence that the country would stop importing power from India from next year after the substation came into operation.
Substation designed as per the Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) technology has become the country’s largest power hub for East-West power supply and electricity trade with India. Constructed for Rs. 2.20 billion, it is the first substation in Nepal having 400 KV power.
“We will not only import power from India, but the situation has also come to sell our power produced from the various hydel projects,” Prime Minister Oli said at the function. “We will most probably reach the stage of power selling by 2022/23 to India after our systems become vibrant,” Premier Oli said.
Kathmandu-Terai/Madhesh Fast Track (KTVT) Project
KTFT project has gained momentum as of the second quarter of the current fiscal after the Nepali Army had ended the process of awarding an international tender bid to begin the construction of 6.45 km tunnel that lies all in Mahadev, Dhedre and Lane Danda of Makwanpur district although the project touches Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Makwanpur districts.
The total length of the project is 72.5 km, which cost Rs. 175.19 billion. The total length was reduced by 3.7 km to 72.5 km by extending the tunnel’s distance. Nepali Army will construct a 17km stretch on its own.
According to Brigadier General of Nepali Army Shantosh Ballave Poudyal and spokesperson of Nepali Army, the government had already pooled the land area of 15,416 ropanis to construct the project. Of them, now, only two per cent of land compensation needs to be provided to the locals of Khokana area in Lalitpur district.
This means, still 448 households need to receive their compensation. The NA has set a deadline to complete the project by the end of 2023/24 A.D. A total of 5,165 ropani private lands had been pooled by the government for this project.
(Purushottam P. Khatri is associated with TRN)
Source : The Rising Nepal