Mechi-mahakali electric railway: Govt invites EoI for DPR of two sections
KATHMANDU, DEC 20 - The Department of Railways has invited expression of interest (EoI) for the detailed project report (DPR) of two sections of the Mechi-Mahakali Electric Railway—Simara-Tamsaria (114 km) and Tamsaria-Butwal-Madhawaliya-Bhairahawa (109 km).
The sections are targeted at linking Lumbini and the Indian railway network. Tamsaria of Nawalparasi district is the junction where the planned Mechi-Mahakali and Kathmandu Pokhara Electrical Railway lines meet. According to the department, it has also requested the Ministry of Finance for resource allocation for the DPR of the Butwal-Mahendra Nagar section (around 400 km).
The department invited the EoI from eligible international form after the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission committed to provide required funds for the DPR. The study is estimated to cost over Rs 600 million. “The Finance Ministry has committed to allocate required funds,” said Ram Kumar Lamsal, director general of the department. According to the railway department, it plans to commence the DPR work for the two sections by June 2012 and complete within a year.
The department is also preparing to sign a formal contract with South Korea-based Chungsuk Engineering Company within 10 days for the DPR of the Bardibas-Simara-Birgunj section. Based on the evaluation of its financial and technical proposal, Chungsuk Engineering was selected for carrying out the DPR. The company has also been selected for conducting the feasibility study of the Mass Rapid Transit (underground and elevated railway) in the Kathmandu Valley. Chungsuk Engineering will start its work by the second week of January 2012, said Lamsal.
A total of 16 international firms, including Chungsuk Engineering, had submitted EoI for the DPR of the Bardibas-Simara-Birjung section.
As per the interest shown by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the government is also considering assigning the agency for the DPR of a section of the proposed railway—either in West Nepal or the Kakkadbhita-Damak section in East Nepal, according to Lamsal.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works on Sunday forwarded a proposal to the Cabinet for ratifying the agreement for the proposed Trans-Asia Railway Network (TAR) which will connect the country with Asia and Europe with a railway network.
The ratification process has been stalled for last five years although Nepal signed the pact in 2006 at a meeting of Transport and Railway Ministers of 17 Asian countries in Busan. Lamsal said as soon as the government ratifies the agreement, they would send it to the United Nations to include Nepal in TAR. “It will provide greater connectivity for trade and tourism to our country and will also help us speed up railway development work,” he said.
TAR is a project of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific targeted at creating an integrated railway network across Europe and Asia for the movement of goods and people. Neighbouring countries India and China have ratified the pact.
DPR of Mechi-Mahakali Electric Railway: Government starts negotiations with Korean firm
KATHMANDU, NOV 04 - The government has started negotiations with Chungsuk Engineering Company of South Korea to carry out the detailed project report (DPR) of the Bardibas-Simara section of the Mechi-Mahakali Electric Railway and its Simara-Birgunj link.
Of the three shortlisted firms for the DPR, Chungsuk Engineering had scored the highest. Other two firms are Scott Wilson of India and Systra FA of France. A total of 16 international firms had submitted the expression of interest for the study.
A team of Chungsuk Engineering is scheduled to visit Nepal on November 10 to discuss the matter. The government is likely to select a consultant for the delayed DPR within a week. “Hopefully, we will select a firm by the next week,” said Ram Kumar Lamsal, director general of the Railway Department. He said if the government fails to negotiate with Chungsuk, it will start talks with the second highest scorer—Scott Wilson of India.
The department is negotiating with Chungsuk on various issues related to taxes, consultancy fee and technology to be adopted for the study, among others. If the government selects Chungsuk within a week and provides additional fund for the DPR, work will start by December or January next year, according to the department.
Although the government is undergoing final preparations to select consultants for the feasibility study of the Mechi-Mahakali Electric Railway sections and Metro Railway System or Mass Rapid Transit System (underground and elevated railway of 75 km stretch) in the Kathmandu Valley, the department is facing resource crunch for both the studies with only Rs 100 in its pocket.
“The DPR and feasibility study are estimated to cost around Rs 400 million, however the fund we have is only Rs 100,” said Lamsal, adding that work on railway development will get delayed further if the government does not provide additional fund for the studies and land acquisition.
Earlier, the government had targeted to start the study by August and complete by May next year. It is expected to take 9 to 12 months to complete the study.
The department is also evaluating proposals submitted by Chungsuk, RITES Limited of India, Systra FA of France and TEAM Consulting Engineering and Management of Thailand for the feasibility study of the Metro System in the Kathmandu Valley. “By the next week, we will start negotiations with the highest scoring firm for the Metro Railway System,” said Lamsal.