By Purushottam P. Khatri
Kathmandu, Feb. 24: Army Headquarters is facing delays in selection of an international consultant for Kathmandu-Terai/Madhes Fast Track (Expressway) (KTFT) project due to lengthy legal provisions of the Public Procurement Act and Regulation.
The Nepali Army Headquarters (NAHQ) has made it clear that the construction work of the three tunnels (6.41 km) and 87 high-rise bridges could not be carried out within the current fiscal year thanks to the slow process they have to go through to appoint the consultant.
“The process to choose an international consultant is under way by following the government’s guidelines as the NA has to abide by the Procurement Act and its Regulation of 2007 as there are various provisions which take several days, even months, to complete a single phase,” Brigadier General and spokesperson of Nepali Army, Bigyan Dev Pandey, told The Rising Nepal on Sunday.
“The project’s tunnel and bridge construction works are not getting delayed from our side, but because of the lengthy legal provisions, which we must go through,” Pandey, who is also the director at the Directorate of Public Relations and Information (DPR&I), said.
By completing all these procedures of the Procurement Act, the project will complete the task of awarding an international consultant by May 8, 2020, Pandey said. “We are currently studying technical evaluation of five out of six shortlisted international firms, which had shown interest and participated in the pre-qualification process; the technical evaluation period will expire on March 10, 2020,” Pandey said.
Five joint-venture international companies namely --- Yooshin Engineering Corporation, Korea, Korea Expressway Corporation, Korea, Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants Ltd, Korea JV, SMEC International Pvt. Ltd, Australia, Dongsung Engineering Co. Ltd, Korea, Korea Engineering Consultants Corp. Korea JV, Meinhardt (Singapore) Pvt. Ltd, Singapore, Kyong Dong Engineering Co. Ltd, Korea, Korea Consultants International Co. Ltd, Korea JV, Eptisa Servicios de Ingenieria, S.L., Spain, Soosung Engineering Co. Ltd, Korea JV, Dasan Consultants Co. Ltd, Korea, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Limited, India JV -- had been shortlisted as possible consultant.
After technical evaluation, the Fast Track Office will do a financial opening on March 27, 2020 as 15 days’ gap is mandatory for financial opening. In the financial opening stage, financial documents submitted by the five firms will be opened for necessary analysis and evaluation. The financial opening evaluation will tentatively be completed by April 4, 2020, Pandey said.
The financial opening and contract awarding processes will be done under Quality Cost Base System (QCBS) in which both the technical and financial aspects will be determined and one out of five firms, which gets highest evaluation points, will be chosen as the international consultant, according to Pandey.
After awarding the contract to one specific firm, a negotiation will be held with the same within five days of the decision, he said. Again, the contract wining firm will get 21 days of additional time for formal contract signing ceremony, he said.
According to Pandey, the contract
wining firm will get a mobilisation time of 15 days after signing the formal contract and they will be in the project site by May 28, 2020.
The five firms had submitted their proposals for their selection on January 22, 2020.
The NA has got a timeframe of mid-July, 2024 to complete Rs. 175 billion project (including VAT).
The Fast Track Office had received the DPR submitted by Soosung Engineering Company of Korea, on February 4, 2019.
The Expressway will have four lanes with total 50 metres right of way and 25 metres widen road in the hills and 27 metres in Terai.
It will have tunnels at Mahadevtar (3.355 km), Dhedre (1.630 km) and Lendanda (1.430) of Makwanpur district.
The Expressway will be of Asian Highway Design Standard (Primary Class) with ‘A’ level of service.