S10: Sustainable Transport Development, Contract Management and Critical Construction Materials Availability

Chair : Er Badan Nyachhyon, Nepal

Dr Raj Shah, UK

SYMPOSIUM:Sustainable Transport Development, Contract Management and Critical Construction Materials Availability

Chairs: Er Badan Nyachhyon (Nepal), Dr Raj Shah (UK)

Date: October 17 and 18, 2023 (Two days)

Venue: Soaltee Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal, and

Method: Hybrid with Physical Convention and Virtual Transmissio

An Overview

The Symposium will include following sub-sectors such as Roads, Bridges, Railways, Underground Metro, Aviation, Waterways, Critical Construction materials, Capacity Building (rock and soil characterization, tunnelling, landslide prevention etc) and Contract Management and Purchasing. It will assess existing challenges and opportunities related to Conceptual Plan, Planning and Design, Management and Consensus Building, Implementation and recommend policy reforms, programs, and implementation mechanisms, and Check and Balance towards achieving hindrance less implementation in the country and contribute for stimulating the quality of life and productivity for economic growth.

Focus areas will include review of experience and lessons learnt from the past and need for creating “One Door Entity” for taking leadership, ownership, extending coordination and creating platform for positive dialogue for finding consensus building among the stakeholders and the beneficiary communities.

Transport itself is a vast subject that accommodates numerous sub-sectoral categories facilitating a livable and adorable urban and rural area at the front and assuring protected natural and built environment including conservation of “Culture and Heritage”, at the end.

The Transportation sector with its sub-sectors and other associated sectoral infrastructure requires specific policy reforms and apex institutions with capacity for ownership, consistency, continuation, and persistence in implementation and subject to the “Check and Balance” procedures at all stages for eliminating deficiencies, gaps, errors and mistakes, and assuring timely and qualitative implementation and delivery of services with consideration of UN SDG 2030:


  1. It will provide a platform and opportunity for the diaspora and Nepali scholars, professionals, and practitioners to present their research findings, experience, lessons learnt and discuss the topics related to infrastructure development in Nepal.
  2. It will provide a guide to policy reforms in relation to the resilient transportation development that will trigger the performance pace of adopting a better progressive approach viz-a-viz low progress of capital investment in last few years in Nepal.
  3. It will provide an opportunity to define the long-term vision and mission to avoid the piece-meal development and converting the urban areas and human settlements to “Concrete Jungle” where resiliency of the transport development cannot be made effective and efficiency.
  4. It will look at the need for procurement policy reforms and lack of compliance to contractual obligations of all 3 Contractual Parties i.e. Client (and Donors), Consultants and Contractors (3C) and assuring timely and qualitative completion of projects; 
  5. It will provide social safeguards to natural and built environment and Cultural Heritage from Transportation Development at all times.
  6. It will also look at the institutional strengthening of the sector for capacity building of the sectoral partners for broader economic development and assuring validation of decisions and their certification.


The Symposium: Resilient Transportation Development, Contract Management and Critical Construction Materials Availability In Nepal  is the integral part of the modernization of national economic development. The Symposium is grouped into four sessions as described below:

The general data that defines the level of the Symposium components is described below:

  • Total population: 30,896,590 (UN, July 1, 2023)
  • Area: 147,181 km2
  • Population density: 209.92 person/km2
  1. Transportation Infrastructure

Nepal is experiencing increasing pressure to build more roads and initiatives to build railways and tunnel roads that could handle about ninety percent of goods and passengers. Nepal’s total road length is estimated at 74,756 kilometers that will be expanded with additional 33,000 kilometers by 2043. The challenges perceived include lack of integrated transport master plan and interagency coordination associated with the government’s policy reform initiatives to ensure balanced, sustainable, environment friendly, and quality roads assuring the environment and social safeguard requirements. This will improve the road density to 0.73km/km2 compared to the world data of 47 km/km2 and 204 km/km2 in India).

Nepal has over-relied on expensive, uncompetitive and, often, unsafe surface transport, particularly because of the rugged terrain. Authorities have several times discussed the need for developing alternate modes of transportation such as railways, ropeways, and waterways.  Though Railway and Ropeways in Nepal were initiated over a century ego, but their continuity was never seriously pursued.  Naturally, Nepal is blessed with the perennial Himalayan rivers along the entire length of the country and inland waterways seems to be worth exploring. All the rivers originating in Nepal merge with the Ganges in India to ultimately reach the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh providing supplementary waterways to access high seas. The Nepalese rivers are currently used for rafting purposes. Transportation Infrastructure availability in 2023:

  • Roads: 74,756 km (0.5 km/km2);
  • Railways:  57 km out of which only 5 km operational.
  • A national Priority Project – Greater Kathmandu Valley Metrorail with 3 cross – lines, two rings with total length 187 Km and 90 stations in conceptual development phase.
  • Airports: 3 international airports and 56 domestic airports, Nijgadh Airport is under consideration; Waterways: Potential routes: 1) Kolkata-Kalughat, Raxaul, Narayan ghat (Narayani River); 2) Kolkata-Sahebgunj, Biratnagar, Barahchhetra (Koshi River) and Kolkata-Varanasi-Raxaul, Narayan ghat (Narayani River).
  1. Contract Management
  • Contract management is the modern tool of procurement of Goods, Works and Services and assure the best quality delivery of all procured commodities within stipulated time and resources.  But in case of Nepal during last few years, the project performance at national level is officially associated at less than 30 % that has made negative impact in economic growth. The Procurement Act of Nepal has been revised for 13 times during last 5 years proving its ineffectiveness in terms of performance, delivery of contractual obligations of 3Cs, and inability to enhance their institutional capacity.
  • The 13th amendment of the Procurement Rules issued in July 2023 included conditions that the Client (Government) is not responsible for price rise in the running contracts due to design changes, inadequate budget, non-availability of construction site, non-payment in time, non-availability of construction materials, natural disaster at the site, practical difficulties for completion of works, lack of clauses in the contract for time extension etc. All these conditions that are out of the control of the contractors will be considered as the contractor’s default and no claims for price increase will not be applicable, which is not fair as per natural law.
  • The recent bids in Nepal are characterized by the fact that the Bids including TOR/RFP, Employers Requirements, Site conditions, Conditions of Contract are issued by procurement entities and not reviewed by other agencies and independent third party for its correctness, consistency, adequacy of time and resources, for avoiding gaps, weakness, eliminating errors and mistakes, checking the capacity of Bidders (including all 3Cs) and compliance with the market prices. As a result, several projects collapsed during construction without reference to cartelling and corruption.
  1. Critical Construction Materials:
  • Fine aggregate (sand) and coarse aggregate (gravel) amongst the world’s largest amount of construction materials extracted globally (Gallagher and Peduzzi, 2019). The construction industry is the leading sector that consumes sand and aggregates the most for producing buildings and infrastructure projects. This is because aggregate is a major component of asphalt and concrete mixes and it is required in every part of the construction industry sector like streets, highways, railroads, bridges, buildings, sidewalks, sewers, power plants, and dams etc. Sand and aggregate are major components of raw construction materials consumed in the construction industry.
  • Sand is the third largest exploited natural resource globally, with an estimation that world consumed between 25.9 to 29.6 billion tons in 2012. (Garba et al, 2019). Several countries are facing a major problem of scarcity of sand including Singapore, which imports 35 million cubic metres of sand. River sand for construction applications in Korea has become scarce due to the excessive mining from the riverbeds (Xu et al., 2018). The rapid development in the national economy and construction industry, the demand for sand in the construction market is increasing. Simultaneously, the current sand mining policies need to meet the demand of 10 billion people in the world.
  • Rivers are the main source of sand in Nepal along with many counties across the world. As resources of sand on land are depleted the demand for rivers’ sand has increased rapidly and is expected to continue. However, rivers’ sand is limited in quantity and sand mining brings environmental externalities such as environmental degradation, habitat destruction and coastal erosion. By means of using digging and loading heavy equipment excessive sand mining can alter the riverbed, force the river to change course, destroy the farmland, erode banks and lead to flooding.
  • Sand and gravel extracted from local rivers are the commonly used natural materials for buildings and infrastructure projects globally. The demand of such materials is increasing intensely due to the boom in the construction industry and to reactivate the national economy. Local rivers are the main source of construction materials in developing and developed counties including Nepal. Inconsistent and unregulated mining of rivers’ sand and gravel have caused adverse impact on environment, economic and society. The unsustainable practices remain largely unaddressed by local stakeholders and the existing sand mining policy in Nepal. Hence a compressive research and national level of discussion is required to manage sustainable mining policy for managing the future and booming demand of construction material in Nepal.


  1. A. Adhikari (2023), NRNA, GKC 3, Background Symposium Note: Smart and Sustainable Urban Dev. in Nepal (Draft) 6/26/2023
  2. John Spacey, https://simplicable.com/new/infrastructure-development, January 20, 2018.
  3. Government of Nepal National Planning Commission, Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2030 National (Preliminary) Report, 2015
  4. Sushil Babu Dhakal, Department of Roads, Transportation Infrastructure in Nepal: Current and Future Planning, 25 April 2022, https://events.development.asia/materials/20220425/transportation-infrastructure-nepal-current-and-future-planning
  5. List of countries by road network size


  1. WASH data source: https://www.unicef.org/nepal/water-and-sanitation-wash
  2. Railway data source: https://www.imnepal.com/railways-nepal/
  3. Waterway data source: https://tkpo.st/30DDd0g
  1. https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/issues-of-public-procurement-in-nepal/#:~:text=The%20chance%20of%20cartel%20and,of%20an%20effective%20penal%20system.
  2. Badan Nyachhyon, Innovating Fair Play in Resilient Infrastructure Development, https://www.academia.edu/41676974/Innovating_Fair_Play_in_Resilient_Infrastructure_Development

List of CV of Session Chair

Er Badan Nyachhyon

Dr Raj Shah, UK