Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track Road Govt exploring alternatives to BOT model

KAKATHMANDU, SEP 30 – The government has started to explore alternatives to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model for the construction of the much-talked about Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Road. The project has been gripped with indecision for the last six months over investor selection procedures. Discussions on options to BOT started after the appointment of Hridayesh Tripathi as the Minister for Physical Planning and Works—implementing authority of the project. Tripathi is also a member of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that on March 1, 2011, directed the ministry to ensure at least 10 percent domestic investment in the project. PAC had also directed that any BOT experience not be included in the criteria for Nepali firms to invest in the project. “The matter is under consultation to see if there is any other option to speed up work on this high priority project,” said Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the ministry. “Alternatives under consideration include carrying out the project through foreign aid or investment by government itself. However, we are just in the preliminary phase to say anything specific.” On the PAC directive, the ministry has been saying that it does not comply with the provision of the Private Financing in the Build and Operation of Infrastructures Act 2007 and its rules to include Nepali investors. Sitaula said the act has made it mandatory for prospective investors to have work experience on BOT. For the first time in the country, the BOT model was implemented in the Fast Track project to avoid possible resource burden to the government. Annually, the government allocates around Rs 30 billion for the whole infrastructure sector, but the project alone requires an estimated at over Rs 75 billion. “It is impossible for the government to build the Fast Track on its own,” said a ministry official. “The government might also look for amendment to the laws to pave the way for Nepali investors to invest in the project.” The project has also been facing land acquisition problem. District Administration Office Makawanpur has not been able to fix land price and distribute compensation for the last 15 months. Recently, the government published a notice for land acquisition in two VDCs Chhaimaley of Kathmandu and Dhusel of Lalitpur. “WKATHMANDU, SEP 30 – The government has started to explore alternatives to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model for the construction of the much-talked about Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Road. The project has been gripped with indecision for the last six months over investor selection procedures. Discussions on options to BOT started after the appointment of Hridayesh Tripathi as the Minister for Physical Planning and Works—implementing authority of the project. Tripathi is also a member of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that on March 1, 2011, directed the ministry to ensure at least 10 percent domestic investment in the project. PAC had also directed that any BOT experience not be included in the criteria for Nepali firms to invest in the project. “The matter is under consultation to see if there is any other option to speed up work on this high priority project,” said Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the ministry. “Alternatives under consideration include carrying out the project through foreign aid or investment by government itself. However, we are just in the preliminary phase to say anything specific.” On the PAC directive, the ministry has been saying that it does not comply with the provision of the Private Financing in the Build and Operation of Infrastructures Act 2007 and its rules to include Nepali investors. Sitaula said the act has made it mandatory for prospective investors to have work experience on BOT. For the first time in the country, the BOT model was implemented in the Fast Track project to avoid possible resource burden to the government. Annually, the government allocates around Rs 30 billion for the whole infrastructure sector, but the project alone requires an estimated at over Rs 75 billion. “It is impossible for the government to build the Fast Track on its own,” said a ministry official. “The government might also look for amendment to the laws to pave the way for Nepali investors to invest in the project.” The project has also been facing land acquisition problem. District Administration Office Makawanpur has not been able to fix land price and distribute compensation for the last 15 months. Recently, the government published a notice for land acquisition in two VDCs Chhaimaley of Kathmandu and Dhusel of Lalitpur. “We have also acquired information about land to be acquired in remaining VDCs—Dukuchhap, Bungmati, Khokana and Saibhu of Lalitpur,” said Saroj Man Shrestha, project manager, adding that information would be soon verified by the survey and land revenue offices concerned. This year, the government has allocated Rs 350 million for land acquisition work. Last week, a high-level committee formed under the coordination of Chet Nath Ghimire, former deputy attorney general, to facilitate land acquisition, had recommended that the government compensate 75 percent of the land price to people residing in the planned alignment for over 20 years without land ownership certificate. However, the panel has not specified the land price, as the Land Acquisition Act 1977 has authorised to Chief District Officers to fix the rate.e have also acquired information about land to be acquired in remaining VDCs—Dukuchhap, Bungmati, Khokana and Saibhu of Lalitpur,” said Saroj Man Shrestha, project manager, adding that information would be soon verified by the survey and land revenue offices concerned. This year, the government has allocated Rs 350 million for land acquisition work. Last week, a high-level committee formed under the coordination of Chet Nath Ghimire, former deputy attorney general, to facilitate land acquisition, had recommended that the government compensate 75 percent of the land price to people residing in the planned alignment for over 20 years without land ownership certificate. However, the panel has not specified the land price, as the Land Acquisition Act 1977 has authorised to Chief District Officers to fix the rate.THMANDU, SEP 30 – The government has started to explore alternatives to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model for the construction of the much-talked about Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Road. The project has been gripped with indecision for the last six months over investor selection procedures. Discussions on options to BOT started after the appointment of Hridayesh Tripathi as the Minister for Physical Planning and Works—implementing authority of the project. Tripathi is also a member of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that on March 1, 2011, directed the ministry to ensure at least 10 percent domestic investment in the project. PAC had also directed that any BOT experience not be included in the criteria for Nepali firms to invest in the project. “The matter is under consultation to see if there is any other option to speed up work on this high priority project,” said Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the ministry. “Alternatives under consideration include carrying out the project through foreign aid or investment by government itself. However, we are just in the preliminary phase to say anything specific.” On the PAC directive, the ministry has been saying that it does not comply with the provision of the Private Financing in the Build and Operation of Infrastructures Act 2007 and its rules to include Nepali investors. Sitaula said the act has made it mandatory for prospective investors to have work experience on BOT. For the first time in the country, the BOT model was implemented in the Fast Track project to avoid possible resource burden to the government. Annually, the government allocates around Rs 30 billion for the whole infrastructure sector, but the project alone requires an estimated at over Rs 75 billion. “It is impossible for the government to build the Fast Track on its own,” said a ministry official. “The government might also look for amendment to the laws to pave the way for Nepali investors to invest in the project.” The project has also been facing land acquisition problem. District Administration Office Makawanpur has not been able to fix land price and distribute compensation for the last 15 months. Recently, the government published a notice for land acquisition in two VDCs Chhaimaley of Kathmandu and Dhusel of Lalitpur. “We have also acquired information about land to be acquired in remaining VDCs—Dukuchhap, Bungmati, Khokana and Saibhu of Lalitpur,” said Saroj Man Shrestha, project manager, adding that information would be soon verified by the survey and land revenue offices concerned. This year, the government has allocated Rs 350 million for land acquisition work. Last week, a high-level committee formed under the coordination of Chet Nath Ghimire, former deputy attorney general, to facilitate land acquisition, had recommended that the government compensate 75 percent of the land price to people residing in the planned alignment for over 20 years without land ownership certificate. However, the panel has not specified the land price, as the Land Acquisition Act 1977 has authorised to Chief District Officers to fix the rate.Ekantipur Repor

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