Capital

Home Ministry’s action spurs DoR to act against tardy contractors

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Jul 3, 2018-

The office of the Mid-Hill Highway (Eastern Section) under the Department of Roads has issued two notices in the name of nine contractors that either failed to start works or complete them on time, warning them of terminating contract or blacklisting them.

In the notice sent on June 29, the office asked Pappu Construction Company, which was awarded the contracts to build bridges over Khangsang and Sokhukhola rivers in Sindhuli district, to clarify why the contracts signed with the company should not be terminated and why it should not be blacklisted.  

The office said that Pappu Construction, which has attracted public wrath for holding several projects and poor performance, had been repeatedly asked to complete the works.

In another notice, the office sought similar clarification from eight other contractors within 15 days, warning them of terminating contracts and blacklisting. 

The eight contractors are Rasuwa/SBA JV; SBA Nirman Sewa; Koshi and Neupane Nirman Sewa; Surya Construction Firm; Chyangmila/Galwa JV; Biruwa/Galwa JV; Elite Construction Company and Lohani and Brothers. 

They have been awarded nine sections of the Mid-Hill Highway, with Biruwa Galwa JV getting two sections of the highway. 

A blacklisted firm cannot participate in the public procurement process for up to three years. The Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO), under the Prime Minister’s Office, may blacklist firms after public entity recommends PPMO for blacklisting with details about the reasons for blacklisting.

As the Home Ministry has started arresting delinquent contractors since mid-May, the public entities responsible for executing the works have been under pressure to act. The Department of the Roads (DoR), which awards the largest number of contracts, 

has also been active in taking action against the erring contractors.

“We have been issuing warnings, withdrawing mobilisation of advance, confiscating performance security and slapping fines on the non-performing and under-performing contractors in line with the contract agreement,” said a senior DoR official. “The Home Ministry’s action has really mounted pressure on us to act.”

The Home Ministry’s recent action has helped the DoR’s cause. The ministry has arrested some contractors, saying that their non-performance in projects affected the general public. One of the influential contractors facing the DoR action is Shailung Construction, whose chairman Sharada Prasad Adhikari is the landlord of Nepal Communist Party Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. 

“We have fined him 0.05 percent of the contract amount every day for under performance in Balaju Ranipauwa Road and Kamalbinayak Nagarkot Road projects,” DoR Spokesperson Mukti Gautam said. “We can fine such contractors up to 10 percent of the contract amount which is deducted from their running bills.” About a month ago, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport had instructed the DoR to collect the details of projects where progress is poor and segregate them based on who is responsible for poor performance. 

“A meeting held at the ministry had instructed the DoR to segregate them whether the public entity responsible for executing the task, contractor or other government agencies or actors responsible for poor progress in the projects,” said Keshav Kumar Sharma, joint secretary at the ministry.

The DoR said that works are on as per the ministry’s instruction. “Various agencies under the DoR will submit detailed information about them at the annual meeting scheduled for the third week of July,” said Gautam.

Published: 03-07-2018 08:25

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