Work harder on development projects: Minister Upreti

In a meeting held on Monday at the Ministry of Defence to review the third quarter progress of the current fiscal year and the Ministry-level Development Problem Solving Committee, Minister Upreti instructed that work on the Kathmandu-Tarai/Madhes Fast Track (Expressway) should be completed within the stipulated time frame (April, 2027).

Noting that the construction of the Expressway, considered a national pride project, is being closely watched both nationally and internationally, Defence Minister Upreti emphasised that such projects need to be completed on time to maintain public optimism.

Acknowledging that some impractical laws had caused delays in the construction of pride projects, Minister Upreti said that the government was striving to proceed by making legal and policy reforms. 

He stressed the need for transparency and legality in the procurement process and insisted that there should be no compromise on the quality of the Expressway.

On the occasion, Minister Upreti also informed that the dispute in Khokana, Lalitpur, regarding land pooling, recognised as the entry point of the Expressway, was nearing resolution. 

He expressed satisfaction over the progress of the road infrastructure being constructed by the Nepali Army and admitted that some projects had not achieved the expected progress due to a lack of resources.

Dr. Ramesh Chandra Paudel, a member of the National Planning Commission, said that the progress of the Ministry of Defence and its subordinate agencies exceeding 80 per cent of their target was satisfactory. 

Dr. Paudel suggested focusing on the construction of the Expressway and the North-South Road Corridor, both considered national pride and priority projects.

Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) General Prabhu Ram Sharma stated that the Nepali Army was working diligently to fulfill the responsibilities assigned by the government, adhering to the prevailing rules and regulations.

Highlighting that the construction of tall bridges and dual tunnels was progressing simultaneously on the Expressway, General Sharma urged confidence that the project would be completed on time.

CoAS Sharma mentioned that 10 per cent of the total military manpower was dedicated to nature conservation, considering the effort exemplary worldwide.

Joint Secretary Namaraj Ghimire for the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) suggested working according to a timetable on national pride and priority projects. He urged the 

Ministry of Defence and its line agencies to focus on audit clearance and requested a special campaign to end audit arrears.

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