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Plan afoot to construct monorail in Kathmandu

The Rs 50 billion project is estimated to cover 28.55 kilometres of ring road

Kathmandu, February 22, 2017: Domestic private firm Kathmandu Monorail Company (KMC) and Powertek Sdn Bhd of Malaysia have signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to construct a monorail in Kathmandu covering the Valley’s Ring Road.

The Rs 50 billion project agreement was signed between these two companies on September 10 last year. Following the agreement, KMC had received letter of intent for the project from Scomi International, the entity selected by Powertek Sdn Bhd to develop the project, on December 27.

The project, which covers 28.55 kilometres of the Ring Road in Kathmandu Valley, has 70 per cent stake of KMC and 30 per cent of the Malaysian company.

As of now, the companies have completed feasibility study of the mega monorail project and are awaiting project approval from Investment Board Nepal (IBN).

“Both the companies are awaiting the government’s approval for the project. We are ready to conduct the detailed project report (DPR) of Kathmandu Monorail Project as soon as the government gives us approval,” said DN Thapa, chairman of KMC.

However, Thapa said that IBN has been dilly-dallying on approving the project.

According to Thapa, the feasibility study of the project has shown that construction of the monorail along the Ring Road in the Valley will cost almost Rs two to Rs three billion per kilometre. The project which envisions constructing the monorail at a height of above 14 feet from the ground level, will be able to transport up to 150,000 passengers on a single day, as per Thapa.

“Construction of monorail in Kathmandu is urgently required to manage the traffic congestion. As monorail runs on electricity, this means of transportation is pollution free as well,” mentioned Thapa, adding that the concerned government authorities should facilitate in executing this project effectively and timely.

Meanwhile, Maha Prasad Adhikari, chief executive officer of IBN, said that the feasibility study report submitted by these companies is not concrete and clear. Similarly, the feasibility report also has not properly clarified the share structure of the two companies in the project and type of technologies they plan to bring in the project, he stated.

Adhikari also said that the companies have not gone through any investment approval procedures. “On top of that, a separate committee of National Planning Commission is studying the proposal of these companies and it will come up with a decision soon,” said Adhikari, adding that IBN will undoubtedly approve the project if the companies clarify and fulfil all investment procedures.