Road Maintenance Project Kick off Meet organized to sensitize various stakeholders
Kathmandu,1 August 2019
Introduction of new technology in road maintenance is planned for the strategically important roads of Nepal. Full Depth Reclamation,adopting the principle of reuse/recycling existing pavement material and Super pave technology are the new techniques Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal). is preparing itself to demonstrate in the country . This technology is one of the activity MCA-Nepal will carry out to improve the quality of roads in Nepal with part of the US $ 500 Million grant agreement,signed between the Government of Nepal and USA.
On 1 August, a Road Maintenance Project (RMP) Kick off Meet was organized in Kathmandu to sensitize various stakeholders on new periodic road maintenance technology envisaged and share project technical assistance support activities .planned by MCA-Nepal. The project is a significant component of MCA-Nepal, the government entity accountable for execution of two projects including an Electricity Transmission Project under the agreement within five years.
Chairing the program, Ms. Pramila Devi Bajracharya, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, opined that MCA-Nepal activities on both the energy sector and the road sector were of vital importance for the economic development of the country. She added,”There will be challenges to the project, such as road safety and quality assurance working under local conditions,as well as to Department of Road in providing continuity to the road maintenance management system. So both of the entities should discuss further to address the foreseen challenges.”
Mr. Khadga Bahadur Bisht, the Executive Director at MCA-Nepal, presented an insight on overall features of MCA-Nepal activities in the country and expressed his commitment for the road sector enhancement especially with a focus on introduction of the new technology expected to bring about a big change in maintaining strategic roads in Nepal.”Apart from the maintenance works, the project will be providing technical assistance to the Department of Roads and Roads Board Nepal on improved data collection and techniques, preparation of appropriate road maintenance plans driven by economic justification, improved prioritization of periodic maintenance,improved contracting and contracting management, including integration of improved road safety features and improved project management.” he added.
Introducing Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as a donor that emphasizes country ownership and focuses on impact, Deputy Country Mission Director at MCC, Sanjay Poudyal mentioned, “MCC only funds projects that are expected to have demonstrable impact on economic growth. MCC countries identify priorities for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction; develop investment proposals in broad consultation within society. Upon compact signing, MCC countries establish a local entity to manage and oversee all aspects of implementation,using MCC funds.”
Mr. Keshav Kumar Sharma, Director General, Department of Road, expressed his belief that the technical assistance and the new technology on periodic road maintenance in Nepal would bring about material change to the road sector as a whole and thanked MCC for the support. Expressing the commitment for the increment in the budget allocation for road maintenance,he also assured to provide necessary cooperation and support for the success of the project. Mr. Krishna Singh Basnet, the Executive Director of Road Boards Nepal, emphasized on the finalization and implementation of the cooperation agreement between MCA-Nepal and Road Boards Nepal.
Mr. Saroj Kumar Pradhan, Deputy Director General, Maintenance Branch, Department of Road,expressed his eagerness to acquire support from MCA-Nepal for Department of Road, especially on Technical Assistance and introduction of Full Depth Reclamation and Super pave technology.
Mr. Sudhan Shrestha, the Project Manager for Road Maintenance & Technical Assistance at MCA-Nepal, highlighted that the project implementation would result in reduced road roughness & vehicle operating costs and increased skills and experience, necessary to plan and implement road maintenance combined with an increased level of funding.
The meeting was participated by 72 officials, representing Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport,Ministry of Law Justice and Parliament Affairs, Department of Transport Management, Department of Road, Roads Board Nepal, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, DFID, JICAFCAN, Cardno etc. MCA-Nepalis in the preparatory phase to implement the US Government Grant of US $ 500 million and Government of Nepal’s contribution of US $ 130 million in electricity transmission line construction and road maintenance in various parts of Nepal. The Government of Nepal has declared the Electricity Transmission Project, which is responsible for the construction of 313 KM of 400 kV double circuit transmission line as a ‘Project of National Pride’.