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Welcome To Nepal Trail Bridge Sector Wide Approach Programme

The Trail bridge Sector Wide Approach Programme (TB SWAp) is a Priority-1 programme for the government of Nepal. It covers all 7 provinces in the country and is guided by the Trail Bridge Strategy 2006, and the Trail Bridge Directives, 2010.

Since 2009, the programme has been implemented through the sector-wide approach and has been led by the government. Technical support is provided by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through the Trail Bridge Support Unit/Helvetas and Provincial Technical Assistance Providers (PTAPs).

The first phase, Trail Bridge SWAp Framework-I was for five years (July 2009 - June 2014). During this period, over 300 trail bridges were completed annually (compared to 150 trail bridges prior to the implementation of the sector-wide approach).

Following Framework-I, TB SWAp Framework-II was implemented for another five years (July 2014 – November 2019). During this period, the average annual trail bridge outputs increased to 460 trail bridges. The highest number of trail bridges in a single fiscal year – 525 bridges- was also achieved during Framework-II (during FY 2018/2019).

Currently, the programme is being implemented through the Trail Bridge SWAp Framework-III (2019-2022).

The goal of the programme is for Nepalese citizens to economically and socially prosper through better physical connectivity.

There are three outcomes:

  1. Nepali citizens use trail bridges to have safe and equitable access to basic services and employment opportunities
  2. Government at all levels (federal, province, palikas) implement Trail Bridge Strategy to construct and maintain trail bridges equitably
  3. Private sector engages in effective delivery of good quality trail bridges

The targets of the programme are to - construct 2,400 new trail bridges, major maintain 750 trail bridges and routinely maintained over 7,500 trail bridges every year.

Implementation of the programme is as per the Local Government Operation Act (LGOA)- 2074, which provides rural/urban palikas with the jurisdiction over planning, implementation, monitoring and maintenance of trail bridges within their constituencies. These include bridges funded through federal conditional grants or through their own resources. Accordingly, palikas execute Short Span Trail Bridges (span < 120 m) through Users’ Committees and Long Span Trail Bridges (span >120 m) through consultants/contractors as per their Constitutional mandate.

Provincial governments implement bridges that are technically complex, multi-span, or inter-bridges through their own resources. They also utilize their own finds for the procurement of technical services, Provincial Technical Assistance Providers, for the provision of technical assistance to their own trail bridge programmes and to the local governments.

Meanwhile, international boundary, strategic and technically complex bridges are coordinated and constructed by the federal government through the Suspension Bridge Division (SBD)/Department of Local Infrastructure (DoLI).

Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA)/ Department of Local Infrastructure (DoLI) is responsible for policy formulation, securing funds for the programme and coordinating for the procurement of steel wire-ropes and bull-dog grips internationally.

Technical assistance for the entire government programme, at all levels, is provided by Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) through the Trail Bridge Support Unit/Helvetas Nepal and PTAPs.

Kadoorie Agriculture Aid Association-British Gurkhas Nepal (KAAA-BGN) also constructs bridge throughout the country through their own resources.

Currently, there are over 9,500 trail bridges in Nepal. These bridges are vital to enhance rural mobility by the providing safer river crossings to over 17 million rural people, amongst which 52% belonged to disadvantaged groups.

Approximately, 1.8 million people cross trail bridges daily. This has meant that children no longer have to risk their lives daily while going to schools; patients no longer have to take long detours to reach health facilities; daily chores, such as gathering fodder and firewood, take less time and are less risky; and accessing markets is much easier.