KATHMANDU, Oct 16: The construction of Kathmandu Metro Railway (KMR) would cost Rs 330 billion (around US$ 3.88 billion) and the project can be developed in 10 years, a preliminary finding of feasibility study report of the KMR said.
A consortium of five Korean and two local companies that carried out the feasibility has tagged government´s involvement in the KMR as mandatory if it seriously wishes to successfully develop and operate the KMR.
"The study team has proposed numerous modality of its development. But no matter which modality the government adopted, the team helds the view that government´s subsidy would be crucial to successfully implement the project," Rajeshwore Man Singh, superintendent engineer at the Department of Railway (DoI) told Republica
The feasibility team that shared the preliminary findings of the study with the senior government officials on Monday has further outlined that it would cost Rs 20 to Rs 30 per commuter to travel in the Metro. It did not shed light on recovery of investment though.
"The complete feasibility report is yet to come. but the government has targeted to develop the KMR in ten years period after analyzing the feasibility report,” said Singh.
The government some 10 months ago had appointed Korea Transport Institute, Chungsuk Engineering Company, Kunwa Consulting and Engineering Company, Korea Rail Network Authority and two local companies - BDA Nepal Private Limited and EMRC Private Ltd - to conduct the feasibility study of the KMR. It paid Rs 60.5 million to those firms for completing the task.
The feasibility study report has, furthermore, indicated that total length of the KMR would be around 77 kms, which is some 11 kms longer than what the preliminary inception report reckoned. There would be a total of five railway lines of which one will encircle the existing ringroad, while others will traverse through the Kathmandu city in four directions.
The study has suggested the government to develop two railway lines underground and remaining three lines in ´elevated´ form, that is above the ground. "Elevated lines have been suggested mainly considering two factors: unsupportive underground soil features and heavy cost emanating from necessary land acquisitions," said Singh.
The 27.35 km long Ring Road line, which connects different locations between kalanki, Satdobato, Chabhil and back to Kalanki, will be elevated as per the feasibility report study. Similarly, the lines that connect Maharajgunj and Satdobato and Kalanki to Koteshwore and Gongbu to Kalanki will be elevated.
“Rest of the other lines will be underground,” Singh said.
The preliminary inception report that was approved by the government in March, 2012 too had outlined five major lines to connect the entire Kathmandu through a mass rapid transport system, Metro Railway.
According to the inception report, Line 1 follows the Ring Road, Line 2 goes from Kalanki to Sinamangal, Line 3 connects Koteshwore and Gongabu, Line 4 stretches from Satdobato to Maharajgunj and Line 5 links Balkhu and Chabhil.
The government has planned to develop KMR under build-own-operate- and transfer model, inviting foreign investment. The project has been handed over to the Investment Board of Nepal for speedy development.