NMPL proposes to build Ktm metro for $3b

KATHMANDU, Aug 25: The Investment Board (IB), entrusted to carry out 14 mega projects including West Seti Hydroelectricity Project and upgradation of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), has received a proposal from Nepal Metro Private Limited (NMPL) to build Kathmandu Metro Railway (KMR) at a cost of US$3 billion.

“The company has submitted a proposal to the IB in this regard,” an official at the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management (MoPPWTM), said.

Radesh Pant, CEO of the IB, also acknowledged submission of the proposal. “A detailed study is yet to be done,” Pant told Republica on Friday, referring to the proposal which was submitted voluntarily by NMPL. He, however, said the Board will not make any decision without carrying out an extensive study, as “the KMR project is a huge”.

The IB, which received the authority to execute the metro project last May, is currently working to hire experts who can go over NMPL´s proposal rigorously. “We don´t know if the cost proposed is genuine or not,” Pant said. “Additionally, we also have to study the international practice of developing metro in a metropolitan city.”

NMPL´s proposal comes at a time when the MoPPWTM has outsourced the work of conducting feasibility study on the project to Korea Transport Institution, Chungsuk Engineering Company, Kunwa Consulting and Engineering Company, Korea Rail Network Authority, and two local companies BDA Nepal Private Limited and EMRC Private Limited. The government has paid Rs 60.5 million to the firms to complete the feasibility study.

“NMPL has promised to compensate Rs 60.5 million if it secures the project,” Pant said. “The company has also said it would bear the cost of preparing detailed project report.”

According to an official at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), the IB had accepted the proposal from NMPL as it lacks human resources to prepare bidding documents for projects like KMR.

But officials of the MoPPWTM have asked the concerned authorities not to make any decision in haste. “Companies that have been paid to carry out feasibility study should be allowed to finish their task,” Tulsi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the MoPPWTM, said. “Negotiations can be done with NMPL after getting a complete report from Korean and Nepali companies involved in the study.”

“We are receiving updates from the firms and they have pledged to submit the report on time,” Sitaula said. The companies have about two months left to submit their reports.BHOJ RAJ POUDEL from republica

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