Why should we stop believing the ‘seven lies’ about naya Nepal and its big projects? Here we discussed.
1 Kathmandu Metro
The feasibility report says that it will cost around Rs 330 billion to build a 77-km-long metro system in Kathmandu in next 10 years. But no step has been taken by government to initiate the project. It is a huge investment and a very big project. It may take years to complete but the truth is Nepalese government has not taken a single step yet. So for the moment, it can only be a distant dream. The research study was conducted over a year by Chungsuk Engineering Company, Korea Transport Institution, Kunhwa Consulting and Engineering Company, Korea Rail Network Authority and Research Management Consultant Environmental and Building Design Authority.
2 Load Shedding Free & Prosperous Nepal by Selling Electricity in Next 3 Years
Nepal is experiencing an extreme shortage of electricity despite having an enormous hydropower potential. Wrong information about the hydropower potential in Nepal is being disseminated to the students and the common people of Nepal. The rhetoric claiming Nepal as “second richest country” in the world after Brazil in hydropower potential has never been proved. With no surprise, Nepal’s power potential is even smaller than our both neighbours, India and China. Despite of our enormous potential we are not able to produce enough electricity for ourselves, our production is just around 1000 MW per year and in dry season it goes off by 50%. Government claims that by 2017 when current projects get completed we will be load shedding free. But the fact is demand for electricity is rising by 20%, currently only 40% of households get electricity. In the meantime, electricity is now used only for basic use i.e. lighting at night. Once we have more supply it can be used in other purpose as well such as heating, cooking and many more. Hence Nepal going loadshedding free in next 3 years is a really good but unrealistic thing.
3 Second International Airport
Absolutely no doubt, Nepal badly need a second international airport but when are we going to get it? It’s uncertain at the moment. Let’s go through two projects being heavily discussed currently.
3 Bara Nijgadh International Airport
The proposed airport will have 15 stands for international carriers, four stands for domestic and two for cargo flights. The first passenger terminal has an area of 75,500 sq m, six boarding gates, 34 check-in counters, six security inspection counters, 35 immigration counters, eight customs inspection counters and six baggage claim counters. According to the report, the estimated cost of the first phase of the project is US$ 650 million. The airport will cover 3,000 hectares of land. The study said the proposed airport could handle 15 million passengers until 2030 and even accommodate the super jumbo Airbus A380 after the first phase of construction. The above mentioned beautiful words were all over newspapers but the reality is different. No homework and no actual step has been taken for the project. So for now, let’s concentrate on how to make our only international airport more functional than showing us a daydream.
4 Gautam Buddha Regional International Airport Bhairahawa
The project is USD 97.21 million, in which the ADB is providing USD 58.5 million–USD 42.75 million in loan and USD 15.75 million as grant. OPEC fund will provide additional USD 15 million. Five Chinese construction firms and two Spanish joint-venture (JV) firms are vying for the contract for the up gradation of the airport. The civil works include construction of a new runway, exit and parallel taxiway with flexible pavements, new international aircraft parking apron with rigid pavements, rehabilitation of the existing runway for conversion to parallel taxiway, drainage system parallel to runway, taxiway and diversion of Ghaghara Khola and airport boundary. The project was estimated to be completed by 2015 but now it may not be done before 2017. By seeing the pace of work and its plan it is hard to believe that the project will be completed by time but the good news is it will be reality soon. Sooner or later.
5 Mechi-Kali Train Link
A feasibility study for the East-West Railway was first conducted by Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited in 2010. The ambitious project also known as Mechi-Kali electric rail can be 1318 km long connecting from Mechi to Mahakali. There are thousands of things to be done even before it got kicked off. Despite all that here is good news, work for 5 km Simara-Bardibas section of this project has officially started in June 2014 and expected to be completed in 2 years. Just to initiate 5 km project we need 4 years, and not even sure if it will be completed on time or not. On the other hand, our only 57 km railway service in Janakpur is in dying condition. By seeing this, it makes us hard to believe this Rs 800 billion project will be ready by next 20-30 years. Anyway, we really hope one fine day we could travel from Jhapa to Kanchanpur by train.
6 Melamchi Water Supply Project
The Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP) was supposed to be the most viable long-term alternative to ease the chronic water shortage situation within the Kathmandu Valley. The Project was designed to divert about 170 million liters of fresh water to Kathmandu Valley from the Melamchi River in Sindhupalchowk district in 2000. It was 7 years project, but today after 14 years not even 40% work is completed. The major work is to complete 27.5 km long tunnel but by 2014 September only 8 Km tunnel’s work is completed. You can imagine, in this ratio, when will get water in Kathmand? Probably, in this life we guess.
7 Mulpani Cricket Ground
The dream of Nepal being neutral cricket venue and hosting India-Pakistan matches is a wonderful thing. The bitter fact however is we don’t even have one international stadium. Always under construction ‘Mulpani Cricket Ground’ is still under construction after 8 years of planning. God knows how many years it require to build one stadium. Our own national team does not have a proper ground to practice so dreaming about Indo-Pak cricket match in Mulpani is a dream for now.
Sources; ekantipur, nepalnews, the himalayan times, melamchi water supply project, myrepublica, nepal electricity authority