Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway Faces Further Delay
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Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway Faces Further Delay

Kathmandu Post reported that the completion of the Kathmandu-Tarai expressway, scheduled for July 2024, is likely to be further delayed after the

Kathmandu Post reported that the completion of the Kathmandu-Tarai expressway, scheduled for July 2024, is likely to be further delayed after the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Thursday directed the Nepal Army to scrap the bidding process of the second phase of the construction of tunnels and bridges. The committee found serious procedural flaws in the pre-qualification process for the selection of the contractors to construct two tunnels of 2.77 km in total length and several bridges in the Simpani to Chalise Kholsi and Ghattepakha to Bandare Khola sections of the 72.5 kilometre expressway.

Nepal Army is executing the Rs213 billion project. The much-touted expressway will link the Capital with Nijgadh in the southern plains and cut travel time to less than an hour from several hours now. The army had selected just one company from among the 22 bidders that had applied in the global bidding process, which is against the Public Procurement Act-2015 as more than one company must be shortlisted.

There are three phases for the selection of international construction companies. In the first phase, global bids are called. The second is the pre-qualification phase, in which bidders' technical documents are evaluated, and shortlisted according to their strength. In the third phase, the project asks for financial proposals from bidders that have passed the technical evaluation and the contract is awarded to the bidder who quotes the lowest price for the project.

However, for the expressway project, only one company—Poly Changda of Guangdong, China—was selected in the pre-qualification process for the second phase of construction of tunnels and bridges. The expressway has a total of 86 bridges including 16 categorised as special and 6.415 km of tunnels.

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