News update :

Introduction

Isolation and lack of access (aggravated by absence of adequately maintained local roads and bridges connecting them) are one of the primary reasons for high incidence of rural poverty in Nepal. It is evident from the poverty disparity that there are strong connections between poverty and access to economic and social services. Lack of access (without motorable bridges) is a serious constraint for economic and social development, incurring huge economic costs (cost of travel, health cost and inflated prices of commodities) for people.

In response to this, the Government (GoN), Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has given priority to improving access, by building roads and bridges connecting them. In this context, upon the GoN''s request, SDC agreed to provide a Technical Assistant (TA) to support the implementation of Local Roads Bridge Program (LRBP). Bilateral Agreement for Local Roads Bridge Program (LRBP) was signed on 23rd March 2011 between Government of Switzerland and Government of Nepal for the 1st phase. The duration of the 1st phase is 4 years from February 1, 2011 to November 30, 2014.

Considering high priority to bridge construction work and its continuation, GoN and SDC extended 1st phase of LRBP till, May 31, 2016.

Similarly LRBP 2nd Phase was signed on May 13, 2013 for 9 months period from June 01, 2016 to February 28, 2017.

And LRBP 3rd phase was signed on January 26, 2017 for 3 years 5 months period from March 01, 2017 to July 31, 2020.

Consolidation and Exit Phase 4 years (jan 2021 ~ Dec 2024):

In the changed federal context and new PGs starting to take up the bridge management function, this exit phase was planned and signed with GoN. This phase will be functioning for 4 years with concentration on these points:

  • This phase is concentrate on up scaling the construction of motorable bridges in a provincial basis on priority sections of the Provincial Road Network. The PGs through newly established Steering Committees, will have full autonomy and authority to regulate and facilitate both the government and private sectors to construct and maintain local bridges, as well as the ability to select and prioritise bridges for inclusion in the programme.
  • SDC and GoN anticipated that substantial additional strengthening and training of staff within the relevant Provincial departments would be required to ensure that the programme maintains its present momentum. For this, SDC will continue its TA for improving operational efficiency of the new provincial departments and their offices through the PBCOs set up under the LRBSU.