Tunnelling challenges in Nepal
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Nepal is a landlocked mountainous country with a population of approximately 23 millions. Being steep in topography and having many rivers originating from the glaciers of the Himalaya, Nepal has been gifted in the field of water resources. Being developing country Nepal needs to accelerate in developing its crucial infrastructures for the economic prosperity of the people living. This is achievable by developing vast water resources it has, by making short and efficient roads through the steep mountain topography, by ex-tracting ore from the mines and by providing cost effective solution for the storage facili-ties. The development of all these needy infrastructures will not be possible unless tunnels and underground caverns are introduced in Nepal. However, due to compressional tectonic movement, the rock masses in Nepal and as a whole in the Himalayan region are highly folded, faulted, sheared, fractured and deeply weathered. As a result, many stability prob-lems associated with this complex geological set up have to be faced during tunnelling. This is the major challenge that has to be faced and addressed in a scientific manner to make the tunnel option cost effective, feasible and safer. This paper discusses the major geological challenges that have been faced during tunnelling and also the possible areas where tunnels and underground caverns are needed in Nepal. In addition, some insights are made on the Norwegian contribution for the institutional development related to tunnelling in Nepal.