IB seeks proposal on feasibility study of Kathmandu Metro from NMPL
BHOJ RAJ POUDEL
KATHMANDU, Aug 3: The Investment Board (IB), entrusted with the task of immediately executing works on 14 mega projects including West Seti Hydro Project and Nijgadh International Airport, has written to Nepal Metro Private Ltd (NMPL) asking it to submit a detailed proposal on conducting feasibility study and the construction of Kathmandu Metro Railway (KMR).
Previously, NMPL had expressed interest to conduct the feasibility study and carry out the construction of KMR, but on condition that the metro project is handed over to it forgoing the bidding process.
According to a government official privy with the KMR project, the IB had established contact with NMPL based on the offer made by the company. “The Investment Board will take a decision on whether to hand over the project to NMPL after going through its proposal,” said the official.
A high-ranking official who has the knowledge of the issue said the IB had accepted the offer of NMPL as it lacks human resources for preparing the bidding documents for projects like KMR.
The Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management (MoPPWTM), which is currently conducting the feasibility study of the KMR, has raised no objection to the IB´s homework of extending construction license to the NMPL.
“We are currently holding discussions with the company (NMPL), though it´s in preliminary stage,” MoPPWTM Secretary Tulsi Prasad Sitaula told Republica on Thursday. “The company has said that it would bring in international investors mostly from Korea and Singapore.”
The government has currently outsourced the task of conducting KMR feasibility study to Korea Transport Institution, Chungsuk Engineering Company, Kunwa Consulting and Engineering Company, Korea Rail Network Authority and two local companies BDA Nepal Private Limited and EMRC Private Limited. Satisfied with the inception report prepared by the companies, the government paid Rs 60.5 million to the firms asking them to conduct a complete feasibility study.
Meanwhile, NMPL has said it would compensate the expenses incurred during feasibility study of the KMR if it secures the project.
But differences persist between the IB and MoPPWTM officials on whether to allow NMPL to conduct complete feasibility study of KMR.
“It´s better to let the companies that are currently working to finish the feasibility study,” Sitaula said. “We can negotiate with NMPL after getting the complete feasibility study report.”
IB CEO Radesh Pant refused to divulge details when asked about the negotiations.