Nepal: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Mugling–Pokhara Highway Improvement Phase 1 Project
The project road is the primary access link of Pokhara to Kathmandu and is a major feeder road of two SASEC corridors linking Kathmandu to Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Kolkata (India) through Mugling and the East-West Highway. It is a two-lane carriageway that handles about 7,400 vehicles per day, including 14% of goods vehicles and up to 55% of motorcycles in urban areas. Traffic is forecast to increase to 13,000 vehicles per day by 2040, and the rising number of motorcycles creates significant road safety risks, notably as (i) the road winds through the mid-hill region of Nepal and its geometry can be improved, (ii) slow-moving vehicles and pedestrians are not segregated in urban areas, and (iii) the pavement is in poor condition. The road will be widened to four lanes to cater to increasing demand, and design standards will feature enhanced geometry, pavement, structure, drainage, safety, and intelligent traffic system features to improve sustainability, safety awareness, and safety compliance.
Chong, Sin Wai
South Asia Department
Request for information
|Project Name||South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Mugling–Pokhara Highway Improvement Phase 1 Project|
|Country / Economy||Nepal
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Transport / Road transport (non-urban) - Transport policies and institutional development
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Some gender elements|
|Description||The project road is the primary access link of Pokhara to Kathmandu and is a major feeder road of two SASEC corridors linking Kathmandu to Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Kolkata (India) through Mugling and the East-West Highway. It is a two-lane carriageway that handles about 7,400 vehicles per day, including 14% of goods vehicles and up to 55% of motorcycles in urban areas. Traffic is forecast to increase to 13,000 vehicles per day by 2040, and the rising number of motorcycles creates significant road safety risks, notably as (i) the road winds through the mid-hill region of Nepal and its geometry can be improved, (ii) slow-moving vehicles and pedestrians are not segregated in urban areas, and (iii) the pavement is in poor condition. The road will be widened to four lanes to cater to increasing demand, and design standards will feature enhanced geometry, pavement, structure, drainage, safety, and intelligent traffic system features to improve sustainability, safety awareness, and safety compliance. The road will be median divided, and service lanes in urban areas will improve safety, particularly for women and children, who are more likely to walk, ride a bicycle, or use public transport than men.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
Nepal is landlocked and bordered to the north by the People''s Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by India. Consequently, Nepal relies heavily on its direct neighbors for international trade, mainly India which traded 65% of Nepal's imports and 58% of its exports in fiscal year (FY) 2018. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.5% annually from FY2008 to FY2018 and at 7.1% in FY2019. However, GDP largely depends on exogenous factors, such as remittances, which accounted for 25.1% of GDP in FY2018; and rainfall, as agriculture accounted for 27% of GDP in FY2018 and employed 69.4% of the labor force in FY2015. Nepal's' economy suffers from a lack of competitiveness and is particularly hampered by its deficient infrastructure network and the resulting high operating costs and travel times, which (i) constrain the development of competitive export supply chains, (ii) hinder the exploitation of its natural resources and tourism potential, and (iii) impede regional integration and trade with indirect neighbors.
Pokhara is the capital of the Gandaki Province and has a population of about 450,000 people in 2019. It is a major economic and social hub for its hinterland, although Pokhara''s location at the foot of the Himalayas impedes connectivity and restricts access to markets, jobs, and social opportunities. The sinuous 200 km journey to Kathmandu takes over 5 hours by road. There are no railway or waterway connections, and its domestic airport handled only 610,000 passengers in 2018. A new regional international airport in Pokhara will alleviate the capacity constraints of the existing airport and is expected to be completed in 2021. Despite poor transport links, Pokhara''s attractive environment makes it a primary tourism destination, and it welcomed about 376,000 international visitors in 2017 (40% of all international arrivals in Nepal, up from 22% in 2001).
Roads are the predominant mode of transport for more than 90% of goods and passengers, although road density remains low at 47 km of road per 100 square kilometers of land area. The strategic road network totals 12,494 km, 51% of which is paved, and is developed and maintained by the Department of Roads in the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport. The number of registered vehicles increased from 0.7 million in FY2009 to 3.2 million in FY2018, and motorcycles accounted for 79.6% of sales. Vehicle registrations are expected to quadruple by 2029, highlighting the need to increase capacity. The high traffic fatality rate of 15.9 fatalities per 100,000 people also mandates road safety improvements, notably by strengthening road designs. The strategic road network maintenance budget increased by 10.0% annually and in real terms during FY2013-FY2020; however, the average budget utilization of 81% requires improvements in asset management and planning practices. International and domestic air travel increased by 7.2% and 2.0% annually during 2011-2018, but capacity constraints at Kathmandu airport inhibit growth.
Transport connectivity within Nepal and with neighboring countries improved
Physical connectivity and multimodal linkages for land-based transport along major trade routes enhanced
|Description of Outcome||
Efficiency and safety of the road transport system improved
|Progress Toward Outcome||Achieving the targets needs full completion of the project.|
|Description of Project Outputs||
Road network upgraded and maintained
Awareness of communities and capacity of government staff on road safety, disaster risk reduction, and project implementation improved
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
MAP/01 and MAP/02 Contracts awarded in Jan and May of 2021.
Construction supervision consultants awarded in Sep 2021.
Contracts for 2 main bridges awarded in August 2022.
|Geographical Location||Abu Khaireni, Pokhara|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The proposed road mainly follows the existing road alignment which passes through 26 major streams and 17 community managed forests. Approximately 45% of the road passes through built up areas, 39% through rural and cultivated areas, 9% through forest, 5% through rocky area, and about 2% of the alignment through barren land. The entire alignment lies outside any biodiversity conservation site, environmentally sensitive area or any protected or buffer zone.Anticipated environmental impacts include siltation of waterways, erosion of cut portions, particularly along hilly areas, and vegetation clearance. The rest of the impacts identified in the disclosed IEE are typical of road construction and will be mainly restricted to the construction stage with no expected irreversible impacts. Mitigation measures have been identified and summarized in the EMP which forms part of bid documents and will be included in the final contract agreement. The project road requires an IEE clearance from MOPIT. Approval of the IEE for the road will be secured by the DOR PIU before the start of construction works.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||Land acquisition and resettlement impacts are expected to be limited as the project is developed in the current right-of-way of DOR.The project will require land acquisition of private land where the existing alignment is insufficient to meet the requirements of the new design, usually for intersection improvements and bridges. The land to be acquired mostly comprise small strips of uncultivated and cultivated land on either side of the existing road. A total of 143 private land parcels equivalent to 1.28 hectares and belonging to 122 households will be affected. Almost all of the impacted households (810 households accounting for 3,985 persons) are affected because of structures within the rightof-way. A total of 767 structures belonging to 810 households will be affected, most of them (85%) belonging to non-titled holders. Only 0.074 hectares of land of paddy crops are expected to be affected, representing an annual production of about 400 kilograms. There are no major impacts on the income of affected households due to the loss of land. Resettlement plan information will be updated according to circumstances and will be reported to ADB.|
|Indigenous Peoples||There are no indigenous people in the project area.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||Consultations were held with affected persons and other concerned stakeholders during the preparation of the poverty and social analysis and resettlement plan.|
|During Project Implementation||Consultation, as required, will be carried out during project implementation.|
|Consulting Services||All consultants and nongovernment organizations will be recruited according to ADB''s Procurement Regulations (2017, as amended from time to time). All firms will be recruited using ADB's quality- and-cost-based selection (QCBS) under full technical proposal (FTP) and a standard quality-cost ratio of 90:10.|
|Procurement||All procurement of goods and works will be undertaken in accordance with ADB''s Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and Procurement Regulations for ADB Borrowers (2017, as amended from time to time). Open competitive bidding (OCB) procedures will be used for all civil works contracts with provision for domestic preference. Requests for quotations will be used for procurement of works and goods estimated to cost less than $100,000.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Chong, Sin Wai|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Transport and Communications Division, SARD|
Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport
Project Directorate (ADB) - Department of Roads
|Concept Clearance||12 Jun 2019|
|Fact Finding||27 May 2019 to 11 Jun 2019|
|MRM||17 Jul 2019|
|Approval||29 Oct 2019|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||25 Aug 2022|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|29 Oct 2019||10 Dec 2019||31 Jan 2020||30 Jun 2026||-||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||254.00||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||195.00||25 Aug 2022||110.48||0.00||57%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||25 Aug 2022||19.84||0.00||10%|
|Status of Covenants|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|29 Oct 2019||21 Nov 2019||21 Nov 2019||31 Dec 2022||-||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|500,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||500,000.00||25 Aug 2022||366,735.42|
|Status of Covenants|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
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ADB to Improve Connectivity Between Pokhara and Mugling, Reducing Travel Time to Kathmandu and Subregional Trade CorridorsADB has approved a loan of $195 million to improve the highway section between Pokhara and Mugling, which links Pokhara to Kathmandu and to subregional corridors connecting Nepal with India and Bangladesh.
|Contract Title||Approval Number||Contract Date||Contractor | Address||Executing Agency||Total Contract Amount (US$)||Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)|
|Lot 1 - Seti Bridge||Loan 3846||21 Sep 2022||Rasuwa Construction Company Pvt. Ltd. | Tokha-7 (Dhapasi-8), Kathmandu, Nepal||Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport||8,405,123.36||6,746,983.65|
|Lot 2 - Madi Bridge||Loan 3846||05 Sep 2022||M/s ANK-ZIEC Joint Venture | G.P.O. Box No. 5813, Rabi Bhawan, Kathmandu, Nepal||Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport||9,488,731.87||7,628,879.56|
|Construction Supervision Consultant||Loan 3846||27 Sep 2021||M/S Renardet S.A.-Soil Test (P.) Ltd.- CEMAT Gonsultants (P.) Ltd. | 50 rue Rothschild Geneva Switzerland 1202 Switzerland||Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport||7,400,000.00||5,589,787.07|
|UPGRADING OF MUGLING-ANBUKHAIRENI-POKHARA ROAD(SEC TION 2) TO 4-LANES,SERVICE LANES,STRUCTURES,BRIDGE S,ETC. AND MAINTENANCE WORKS.||Loan 3846||25 May 2021||ANHUI KAIYUAN HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE CO. LTD. | NO.17, TIANZHI ROADS, HIGH-TECH ZONE, HEFEI CITY, ANHUI PROVINCE, CHINA, PEOPLE'S REP. OF||Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport||63,475,910.64||52,003,838.39|
|Abukhaireni-Pokhara Highway-Upgrading of existing road from 2-lanes to 4 lanes and sercie lanes, str uctures, bridges, etc. and Maintenance works||Loan 3846||04 Feb 2021||China Communications Construction Company Ltd | Building A, No. 85, Deshengmenwai Street Beijing, CHINA, PEOPLE'S REP. OF||Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport||53,171,748.35||41,246,393.27|
|Capacity Development||Technical Assistance 9836||14 Oct 2020||CDM International Inc. USA(UNITED STATES) in association with ITECO Nepal (P) Ltd.(NEPAL) | 75 State Street, Suite 701 Boston, MA 02 United States||Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport||497,228.00||—|
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Mugling–Pokhara Highway Improvement Phase 1 Project: Procurement Plan||Procurement Plans||Sep 2021|