The Mid-Hill Highway could be reduced by at least 150 km that will save construction cost, travel time and reduce vehicle operating cost, according to Department of Roads.

The department’s preliminary feasibility study has revealed that Myanglung, Basantapur section in Terhathum district, Jajarkot-Doti and Baitadi are some of the potential areas from where shorter routes could be developed to reduce the total length of the highway.

Currently, the proposed Mid-Hill road project is of 1,776 km, which includes existing routes of the other highways, feeder roads and new road alignments.

“According to the preliminary report, the department could reduce the total length by 150 to 200 km,” said deputy director general at the department Arjun Jung Thapa. “However, the final draft of the length will take a month,” he said, adding that the consultants are working on it.

Integrated Developments and Research Services and Beam Consultant are preparing the feasibility report.

Integrated Developments and Research Services has been assigned the section east of Pokhara, whereas Beam Consultant will study the western part. The study is scheduled to be completed by the first three months of the next fiscal year.

If the government manages to reduce the total length by some 200 km, the highway development cost will come down by around Rs 9 billion, the department said, adding that the detailed project report of the Mid-Hill road conducted in 2011, had estimated Rs 43.38 billion for the proposed 1,776-km highway that connects 24 mid-hill districts serving & million people.

However, less length means the cost will come down.

The revised length could be around 1,400 km, the department added.

The detailed project report of the highway was conducted by Tech Studio of Engineering had also recommended adopting alternative alignments at some sections and conducting a detailed study of proposed alignments before using them as new alignments.

In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs 1.92 billion for the highway project to complete track opening, graveling, bridge construction and black topping on some sections of the highway, including the Mid-Hill Highway.

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