The foundation stone laying ceremony for Nepal’s first tunnel -Nagdhunga Tunnel Construction Project was held today amidst an official ceremony in the eastern portal of the tunnel way located in Chandragiri Municipality.
Right Honorable Prime Minister Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and laid the foundation stone of the Project. Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Honorable Raghubir Mahaseth, other honorable ministers, respected members of parliament, mayors and deputy mayors, concerned government officials, H.E. Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Masamichi Saigo, and the Chief Representative of JICA Nepal Office, Ms. Yumiko Asakuma were also present during the ceremony.
During the ceremony, the Prime Minister expressed special appreciation towards Government of Japan and JICA for its support in constructing this landmark project and stated his belief that this breakthrough project will immensely help in improving the trading of goods through smooth vehicular movement for commercial activities and bring prosperity in the economic condition of the country.
The Nagdhunga Tunnel Construction Project is an ODA loan project funded by the Government of Japan where JICA is the development partner providing loan assistance of JPY 16.636 billion. The objective of the Project is to improve the road condition around Nagdhunga pass by constructing a tunnel, thereby contributing to achieving the smooth transportation network between Kathmandu and other principal cities/areas in Nepal.
The commencement of this tunnel project will be the first of its kind in Nepal. The highway will have two lanes, 2.7 kilometers in length and is expected to reduce the time to clear Nagdhunga Pass to one-third of the current time (currently 30 minutes when heading east and 20 minutes when heading west), making the transportation of people and goods efficiently and safer. The executing agency for this project is the Ministry for Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the construction period is expected to be around 3.5 years.