20 Janaury 2021, Kathmandu
The Information Technology Park (IT Park) in Kavrepalanchok is being changed into a security printing press with the objective of making a model in South Asia.
The Security Printing Center has stated that an additional process has been started for the construction of physical infrastructure for this.
The government had decided to keep a press in the park located in Panauti Municipality-5 last year.
A budget of Rs. 1.9 billion has been issued in the Fiscal Year 2076/77 to start the work of physical infrastructure.
It is stated that a continuous budget will be allocated to complete the construction of the center which is planned to be completed at a cost of Rs. 33 billion in the initial phase.
According to Vikal Poudel, Executive Director of the Information Technology Park, the construction work of the security printing press at the security printing center has been suspended for administrative purposes.
According to Poudel, the process of making the center construction project ‘multi-year’ has been stalled for some time.
“The Ministry of Finance is in the process of making the project multi-year with a budget. Work will start as soon as the process is over,” he said.
Last year, the government decided to set up a center in the park for safe printing of passports, banknotes, driver’s licenses, smart cards, postage stamps, excise stickers, and SIM cards.
Director Poudel said that work has been done to prepare the land for physical infrastructure. Including building required for construction of printing press, construction of wall and construction of access road to the building within the park.
According to him, construction of two drinking water tanks of one lakh liters each for drinking water, connection of four large generators required for printing press and construction of underground diesel tank. With a capacity of 300,000 liters for the fuel storage to operate the generator have been completed.
As there are electric ‘high voltage’ wires under the ground inside the park which is under construction, the construction work of the building will start after arranging it side by side.
It has been stated that it is necessary to make the project multi-year for the construction of necessary buildings and other physical infrastructure.
“As it is not possible to go for bidding without the commitment of the fund, the work is being started by making the project multi-year,” said Poudel.
According to him, Rs. 10 billion will be saved annually due to safe printing after the press comes into operation.
He said, “We are discussing whether to save the building or demolish it. If it is urgent, it should be demolished.”
According to him, the center will need about one thousand manpower including two hundred technicians.
It is also said that a detailed discussion is yet to be held on the type of press machine to be placed in which building/place.
Meanwhile, former minister Gokul Prasad Banskota said that there should be no delay in the construction of the center under any pretext.
He says, “There is no shortage of manpower and budget for the center. As it is a project of long-term national pride, its work should continue as planned.”
He claims that billions of rupees of the country will be stopped from going abroad in the name of safe printing and hundreds of youths will get employment after the press comes into operation.
The establishment of a security printing press in the park started. When he was the Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
The construction of the IT Park started in 2057 BS. And handed over to the Government of Nepal in 2006 BS. The park, which is considered to be the largest in South Asia. And was in a dilapidated condition due to non-operation.
If you walk along the Banepa-Panauti road with the magnificent looking building inside the compound. No one would know what it was built for.
The park had earlier used for filming, district politics, and other events. In the meanwhile, some IT companies started working in the park but we’re leaving in a short time.
However, the government has prepared a workable and result-oriented master plan to develop security printing in three phases.
Accordingly, in the first phase. Nepal will make self-reliant within five years. In the second phase, reliable services related to security printing and quality security goods will be made available to SAARC. And Southeast Asian nations within the next ten years.
In the third phase, a strategy has decided to provide reliable printing services. And quality security goods. To other third countries within the next 15 years.
The government has been saying that a G2G agreement will be signed. Between the governments of the two countries for the purchase of press machines.
The Center has stated that it is in the stage of discussions.