National Pride Projects of Nepal
The projects that can enhance the common identity of people along with their quality of life in terms of social, economical, cultural & environmental aspects & are completed within a particular interval of time in particular places can be referred to as national pride projects. Such projects are selected on the basis of development strategies, the economy of the country, technology & its availability, etc. These projects can have a huge impact on the socio-economic progress & are strategically important for the development of different sectors viz. hydroelectricity, irrigation, transportation, tourism, cultures & religion, etc. In short, national pride projects are notable & strategic projects having special importance to the country. The declaration of national pride projects is done as per the decision of the Council of Ministers. The government of Nepal adds different projects to the list of the National Pride Project. During the fiscal year 2068/69, 17 projects were declared as national pride projects for the first time. 4 projects were then added to the list in FY 2070/71. Likewise, three projects were added in the roll with one in each subsequent fiscal year 2075/76, 2076/77 & 2077/78 respectively. Thus, the government of Nepal has declared a total of 24 projects as national pride projects to date whose short description is mentioned below.
1. Sikta Irrigation Project
Sikta irrigation project, as a national pride project, aims to provide irrigation facilities to 43,000 Hectares of agricultural land of Banke district in Lumbini province. This project was started in the fiscal year 2061/62 B.S. and was meant to be completed by the fiscal year 2071/72 B.S. However, this aim could not be achieved and the target completion date was postponed for the year 2076/77 B.S. The cost of the project was estimated to be Rs. 1280 crore while the revised cost is estimated to be Rs. 2502 crore.
According to the 47th NDAC report, the first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 80.16% and 61.87% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. At present, the construction of headworks, gate, the western canal (45 km), and 80% of the Sidhaniya branch has been completed. The construction of the eastern main canal (16 km) is in its final stage while the problematic section of the western canal is under maintenance. About 1.5 cumecs of water have come into operation at present. Distribution of compensation for 3.5 hectares of land has been done to build branch canals.
2. Babai Irrigation Project
The aim of the project is to irrigate 36,000 hectares of cultivable land of Bardiya district in Lumbini province. The onset of the project as done in the fiscal year 2045/46 B.S. was aimed to be completed in the fiscal year 2069/70 B.S. But the revised completion year has now been changed to 2079/80 B.S. The revised cost of the project has been estimated to be Rs. 1896 crore. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 80.28% and 24.86% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. At present, headworks, main canals, and branch canals have been constructed and 29,500 hectares of land have been irrigated by the Babai irrigation project.
3. Rani - Jamariya - Kulariya Irrigation Project
This national pride project is the largest irrigation system constructed and managed by farmers and was started to provide irrigation facilities to 20,300 hectares of agricultural land in Kailali district (Sudurpaschim province), a western tributary of Karnali river being the source of water. The construction was started in the fiscal year 2067/68 B.S. and as per the revised estimate, it is targeted to be completed in 2080/81 B.S. The total revised cost of the project is Rs. 2770 crore.
The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 81.29% and 83.27% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. The construction of intake, 8 gates, main canal (8.9 km), and 6 km of Lamki branch have been completed. Modernization of Rani, Jamariya, Kulariya branch canals including the old feeder canal has been done. 75% of work has been done for the protection of the irrigated areas.
4. Bheri - Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project
This national pride project is aimed to transfer 40 cubic meters/sec of water from the Bheri River to Babai river under the head of 150 m to provide round the year irrigation to 51,000 hectares of cultivable land in Bardiya & Banke district of Lumbini province. 48 MW electricity is to be generated as an additional aim of the project. BBDMP includes three major components:
- about 12.34 km long & 4.2 m dia tunnel,
- headwork & desanding basin to be constructed in Bheri river end
- & forebay, penstock, powerhouse & electro-mechanical parts in Babai river end
For tunneling purposes, TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) was used in this project for the first time in Nepal (Siwalik geology). This project was started in the fiscal year 2068/69 B.S. and is aimed to be completed in 2079/80 B.S. The revised cost of the project is estimated to be Rs. 3319.66 crore. It is estimated that the monthly income from irrigation and hydroelectricity will increase to Rs. 3.1 billion and 2.1 billion respectively. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 38.6% and 100% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. As per the latest reports of the National Planning Commission, the final phase of tunnel construction is going on and tender for hydro-mechanical works has been published. Also, compensation has been fixed for land acquisition at the dam site.
5. Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project
It is one of the national pride projects executed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model that aims to produce 456 MW electricity & is located in the Tamakoshi river of Dolakha district in Bagmati province. It is run of river type of hydroelectric project. Started in the fiscal year 2067/68 B.S., it was aimed to be completed by 2072/73 B.S. But due to the massive earthquake of 2072 B.S. and obstruction in the southern border the completion date was shifted for the year 2076/77. The initial cost of the project was estimated to be Rs. 3529 crore while the revised cost is estimated to be Rs. 4929 crore due to the extension of the construction period. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 76.55% and 71.25% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Out of 62 upper penstock shafts (311 m) and 74 lower penstock shafts (373 m), 9 shafts (42.5 m) and 26 shafts (130 m) have been constructed to date respectively.
6. Budhigandaki Hydropower Project
The project site is located in Gorkha (Gandaki province) & Dhading (Bagmati province) districts with the aim of generating a total of 1200 MW of electricity. It started in the fiscal year 2069/70 B.S. and the revised schedule of completion of the project is estimated to be 2083/84 B.S. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs. 26000 crore. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project both were found to be 62.09% for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Out of 58153 ropanis of land lying in the flood zone of the project, 44659 ropanis have been given the compensation amount of Rs. 2684.46 crore.
7. West - Seti Hydropower Project
It aims to produce 750 MW of electricity from the water current in the Seti river and the project is located in Doti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi & Bajhang districts of Sudurpaschim province. The investment board is conducting a necessary study in this regard. A committee has been formed to determine the development modality of the project to expedite the development and construction work of the project.
8. Gautam Buddha Regional International Airport
The existing Gautam Buddha Airport in Rupandehi district of Lumbini province is being upgraded into a regional international airport to foster tourism in Nepal and get economical benefits out of it. Its runway will be upgraded from 1500 * 30 m to 3000 * 45 m. In addition to the runway, international building, airport operation, administrative building, control tower, fire control will be constructed. The project was started in 2015 A.D. and expected to complete in December 2017 A.D. As per the revised schedule, the deadline was extended for the second time till December 2019 A.D.
The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 38.56% and 7.6% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. The construction of the taxiway and apron has been completed along with the structural work of the international terminal building. Construction of new runway administration building and control tower is in progress.
9. Pokhara Regional International Airport
It is an under-construction airport in Pokhara, Gandaki Pradesh consisting of one runway measuring 2500 * 45 m and aiming to handle one million passengers annually. Serving as an alternative international airport, it could help to attract as many tourists in Nepal to make Visit Nepal 2020 a successful event. But due to the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19, the event was canceled off. Although the preliminary works were started in the fiscal year 2064/65 B.S., construction works started in 2073/74 B.S. and are targeted to be completed in 2077/78 B.S. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project both were found to be 100% for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S.
10. Nijgadh International Airport
It is located in Bara district of province no. 2 and aimed to have two parallel runways capable to handle 15 million passengers annually as a well-equipped and alternative international airport. This project was commenced in the fiscal year 2071/72 B.S. and is expected to be completed in 2091/2092 B.S. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 16.5% and 15.5% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Site clearance of the airport has been prepared and the ministry and investment board have been discussing the overall project and its modality.
11. Pashupati Area Development Project
The main objective of this project is to plan and execute development programs for the Pashupati area in order to preserve this great world heritage site, make it an International pilgrimage site and develop eco-tourism. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 45% and 11% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Bids have been published to expand the capacity of the electric crematorium and for upgrading Gaushala Bhubaneshwari Darshan Marg. Similarly, the re-construction of the kitchen of Pashupatinath and preserving the premises of Jit Jung Prakasheshwar temple is going on.
12. Lumbini Area Development Project
Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, the light of Asia, and the founder of Buddhism. This project was founded for the purpose of restoring the Lumbini garden under the master plan of the government of Nepal in order to develop the holy birthplace of Gautam Buddha as an international center for Buddhists and peace-loving people. Started in the fiscal year 2069/70 B.S., it is targeted to be completed by 2077/78 B.S. The initial cost estimate of the project was Rs. 550 crore. and the revised cost is Rs. 610 crores. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 100% and 52.17% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S.
13. Mid-Hill Pushpalal Highway
The double lane highway which runs through the mid-hill region of Nepal starting from Chiyabhanjyang of Panchthar district in the east and ending at Jhulaghat of Baitadi district in the west is named as Mid - Hill Pushpalal Highway. Various development issues that Nepal has been facing include lack of good transportation facilities too. Hence with an aim of economic, social, cultural, tourism, and educational prosperity via development in transportation, this project was started in the fiscal year 2064/65 B.S. and expected to be completed in 2074/75 B.S. But the revised schedule has aimed that the completion year of this project will be 2079/80 B.S. The revised cost estimate is Rs. 10150 crores. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 91.5% and 65% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. During this period, 20.5 km blacktop, 69 km gravel road, and 2 bridges have been constructed.
14. Rail, Metro Rail, and Monorail Development Program / East-West Railway
Realizing the importance of railways in carrying freight and passengers, the Government of Nepal planned to construct a railway line from east to west that connects the capital city, Kathmandu, with a total of 946 km in length. Started in the fiscal year 2066/67 B.S., the project has mainly focused on East-West railway, Kathmandu-Birgunj railway, Kerung-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini railway, and inter-country railway at six different places connecting it with Indian railways.
The first quarterly financial progress of the project was found to be 37.2% for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Out of the 69 km Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bardibas railway section, construction work has been completed for Jayanagar-Janakpur (34 km) section and railway regulations have been prepared to operate train service in that section. Council of Ministers has made a purchase agreement with India railways to buy a train for the railway. Similarly, 10 km of railway track has been constructed for the Jogbani-Biratnagar railway (18 km) and about 80% of works have been completed in other sectors. Also, the Initial trackbed has been laid on 70 km long Bardibas-Nijgadh Railway, and construction of 10 bridges in the railway section has been started with contract management.
15. Terai Hulaki Marga / Postal Highway
Terai Hulaki Marga (Postal Highway) runs from Kechana, Jhapa in the east to Dodhara, Kanchanpur in the west cutting across the entire Terai section of the country with a length of 1792.42 km. The east-west length is 975 km and 28 ancillary roads connecting the north and south part is 817.42 km. The project aims to build and upgrade roads and construct 219 bridges. The initial schedule estimated that the project would be completed in the fiscal year 2074/75 B.S., being started in 2065/66 B.S. But the revised estimate has targeted to complete the project by the year 2079/80 B.S. The total initial cost estimate of this project is around Rs. 4727 crore while the revised cost was Rs. 6520 crores. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 94% and 95% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. During this period, 50 km blacktopping, 25 km gravel road, and 6 bridges have been constructed. Also, the road contract for 300 km road has been signed.
16. Kathmandu - Terai Expressway / Kathmandu - Terai Fast Track
The four-lane road of a total length of 76.4 km linking Kathmandu with Nijgadh of Bara district by Asian Highway Design Standard (Primary Class A) level road is named as Kathmandu - Terai Expressway. This project was started in 2074/75 B.S. when the Government of Nepal has handed this project to Nepal Army and is expected to complete it in 2080/81 B.S. The total initial cost estimate of this project is around Rs. 11,600 crore while the revised cost was Rs. 21,395 crores. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 88% and 6.06% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Required drawings and designs are being made to further complete the project.
17. North-South Koshi Corridor
It is a north-south highway that is known to be the shortest highway of 162 km from Basantapur in Tehrathum district to Kimathanka on the northern border, connecting India and China across the Himalayan mountains in Nepal. Although it was expected to be completed in the fiscal year 2076/77 being started in 2065/66, the deadline has been extended again to 2080/81. The revised cost estimate of this project is Rs. 1620 crore. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 68% and 16% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S.
18. North-South Kaligandaki Corridor
Kaligandaki corridor is a strategic project of length 435 km which links the Chinese border in the north via Korala with the Indian border in the south via Bhairahawa. It includes Nawalparasi, Palpa, Tanahu, Syangja, Gulmi, Baglung, Parbat, Myagdi, and Mustang districts. The initial schedule estimated that the project would be completed in the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S., being started in 2065/66 B.S. But the revised estimate has targeted to complete the project by the year 2080/81 B.S. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 75.31% and 77.57% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Gravel has been placed in 33 km of Beni Jomson road section. 1 km road has been widened, 1 km road has been graveled and 5 bridges have been constructed in Maldhunga Ramdi Gairakot road section.
19. North-South Karnali Corridor
It is divided in two parts i.e. Khulalu-Simikot (145 Km) & Hilsa-Simikot (88 Km) in Humla. This project was started in the fiscal year 2065/66 B.S. and was meant to be completed by the fiscal year 2070/71 B.S. However, this aim could not be achieved and the target completion date was postponed for the year 2079/80 B.S. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 98.75% and 100% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. During this period, 3.9 km track has been opened in the Khulalu Laifu Simikot section. 4 km track has also been opened and 10 km road widening work has been completed in Hilsa Simikot Section.
20. Melamchi Drinking Water Project
Melamchi drinking water project is designed to divert about 170 MLD (Million Liters Per Day) of freshwater to 3 million people residing in Kathmandu valley from Melamchi River in Sindhupalchowk district in Bagmati Province. The first phase of the project was started in 2055/56 B.S. and was expected to complete in 2070/71 B.S. But the revised schedule has shown that the project is to be completed by 2077/78 B.S. The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 37.28% and 13.67% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. For the construction of the cofferdam, 500 cubic meters of excavation has been done on both left and right sides by blasting. The work of tunnel finishing has been done.
21. President Chure Terai Madhesh Conservation Area Program
Chure is a young mountain range situated between the Mahabharat range in the north and the Terai plains in the south. The range is mostly a long single file of mountains that runs continuously from the Indus river in Pakistan in the west throughout the length of Nepal until it reaches the Bramhaputra river in India in the east. The Government of Nepal has launched "Rashtrapati Chure Terai Madhesh Conservation Programme" in the fiscal year 266/67 B.S. and has been operating as a project of national pride since 2070/71 B.S. This program aims to support the national goal of poverty alleviation and prosperity by managing and utilizing the natural resources of Chure region in order to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). Programs such as group networking among upper coastal residents, construction and management of new nurseries, producing various species of plants, controlling Chure fire and forest encroachment, controlling smuggling, employment-oriented tree afforestation programs have been conducted. The 20-year master plan for the protection of Chure Terai Madhes was approved by the Government of Nepal in Jestha 2074 B.S. and is being implemented accordingly.
The first quarterly physical and financial progress of the project was found to be 86.67% and 27.32% respectively for the fiscal year 2076/77 B.S. Flood control, risk reduction, and greenery promotion in river banks have been started. The master plan has mapped 164 river systems flowing through the Chure region while 64 of them have been prioritized for the first five years. Further conservation program of the lake has been started.
22. Electricity Transmission Project
It includes two different electricity transmission projects which will be funded by the donation obtained from Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). MCC has currently been a burning topic for discussion among Nepalese people. MCC is basically an agreement, between the Government of Nepal & the United States foreign aid agency, in order to grant 500 Millon US dollars (About 60 Arba in Nepali Currency) to Nepal which should be utilized for the development of energy & transportation sectors in Nepal. In addition to this, the Government of Nepal should also invest 15 Arba rupees for infrastructure development under this agreement. The Cabinet meeting held in 5 Ashwin, 2075 had declared two projects under the MCC agreements as the national pride projects. These two projects are Lapsephedi-Galchhi-Ratamate transmission line & Damauli-Bharatpur-Butwal transmission line. The MCC agreement was done on 29 Bhadra 2074, but it needs to be approved by the house of representatives in Nepal in order to get implemented.
23. Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Project
It is a multipurpose project that supports the current Bagmati Irrigation Project & also aims to generate 28.62 MW of hydroelectricity. The Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project is conceptualized to divert the water from Sunkoshi river to the Marin river, a tributary of Bagmati river, which will then be fed to Bagmati Irrigation System contributing irrigation facilities to a total of 1,22,000 hectare land in Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari & Dhanusa districts. This project was announced as a national pride project in the budget speech of FY 2076/77. This project is expected to be completed by FY 2080/81 at a total cost of 4619.29 Crore.
24. Mahakali Irrigation Project
It is the youngest project to be declared as a national pride project. It was announced in the budget speech of FY 2077/78 as a national pride project by finance minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwoda. This project aims to provide irrigation facilities to 33,520 hectare of agricultural land of the Kailali & Kanchanpur districts. This project is expected to be completed by the end of FY 2083/84 at a total cost of 34 Arba Rupees.