Kathmandu: Investment Board Nepal (IBN) is planning to order Nepal Metro to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed Kathmandu Metro Railway Project. The board has been working on finalising the terms of reference (TOR) for the study.
Last year, the government had assigned the metro railway project to the IBN, and the Cabinet had decided to give the DPR job to Nepal Metro. The company has submitted a proposal to conduct a detailed study and build a mass rapid transit system in collaboration with international firms.
“We have sought comments over the draft TOR from the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport,” said IBN CEO Radhesh Pant. He added that once the TOR was ready, the IBN would sign an agreement with Nepal Metro to do the DPR.
Meanwhile, the government is reluctant to assign the construction work to Nepal Metro despite its desire for the contract. According to Pant, the IBN will call for transparent global bidding to select a contractor for the Kathmandu metro.
Since the project requires a huge investment, a global tender is a must to build it under the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) modality, according to Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the Physical Infrastructure Ministry. “Nepal Metro too would be able to participate in the bidding,” he added.
However, Nepal Metro CEO Deepak Timilsina said they wanted the contracts for both the DPR and the construction.
Last year, the government had hired consultants consisting of a consortium of Korean and Nepali firms to prepare a feasibility report for the project. The Korean companies in the consortium were Chungsuk Engineering Company, Korea Transport Institution, Kunhwa Consulting and Engineering Company and Korea Rail Network Authority while the Nepali companies were Research Management Consultant Environmental and Building Design Authority.
The study showed that five metro lines – four lines inside the Ring Road and one 27.35 km line running around it – would be feasible. A feasibility study for the metro railway prepared by the government had concluded that the railway system in the Capital would costs US$ 3.88 billion (Rs 330 billion).
Timilsina said that the Maharajgunj-Satdobato and Kalanki-Airport lines among the five lines would be viable for the operation of an elevated metro service. “After signing the contract for the project, we will be able come up with the DPR within eight to 12 months,” he added.