By Bhauch Prasad Yadav, Kathmandu, Mar. 30: The Department of Roads has geared up to initiate the construction of the market alongside the Sisnekhola-Nagdhunga tunnel, the main entry point to the Kathmandu Valley.
According to the Sisnekhola-Nagdhunga Tunnel Project, the land acquisition and design have been prepared for the construction of the market.
The Department of Roads informed that the Japanese technicians have designed the market along with the tunnel.
Arjun Jung Thapa, Director General of the Department of Roads, informed The Gorkhapatra that an international level service centre would be constructed in an area of 40 ropanis along the entrance of the tunnel towards Dhading for the convenience of the passengers travelling through the tunnel.
According to him, market set up work has already started in the area.
He said, "Even before entering the tunnel in other countries including Japan, a service centre is set up at the entrance of the tunnel where the passengers can freshen up and, relax and buy the necessary equipment and also do general maintenance of the vehicles." Similarly, the Nagdhunga tunnel is also being constructed under the same concept.
According to Director General Thapa, international level department stores, hotels, restaurants, petrol pumps, exhibition halls, public toilets, vehicle repair centres, and other structures will be constructed in the market which is being constructed under the fourth component of the tunnel construction project.
Likewise, a different place will be set up for the production of farmers and handloom things.
Similarly, parking lots will be constructed to accommodate at least 50 four-wheelers at a time and a garden will be constructed near the bazaar to make it attractive for passengers to roam in the open.
Director-General Thapa said that it is believed that the number of road accidents will be reduced if the drivers get fresh even for a moment.
He said, “The project is the first priority of the country's infrastructure development, will have a tunnel under the first component, access road under the second component, flyover under the third component and service centre under the fourth component will be constructed under the first component of the project which has the first priority of infrastructure development of the country."
"The construction company has agreed to build the market along with the tunnel and hand it over to the government,” Director-General Thapa added, “The service centre under construction is being constructed for the first time in the history of Nepal targeting highway passengers.”
Such service centres are built at a distance of about 40 to 50 kilometres on the highways of developed countries but no service centre has been built on any of the highways in Nepal targeting passengers so far.
The tunnel is being constructed with a concessional loan of about Rs 16 billion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He said that the service centre is being constructed at the same cost.