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Pappu Construction violates approved design in four bridges

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Sep 22, 2018-

A committee formed by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport to look into the bridge projects contracted by Pappu Construction has found that the company is building four bridges by violating the approved designs.

The committee headed by a senior official at the Road Department found such defects in the bridge over Babai River at Jabbighat, Bardiya, Lalbakaiya bridge in Rautahat, Kamala bridge in Sindhuli, and Ratu bridge in Mahottari.

The report submitted to Raghubir Mahaseth, the minister for physical infrastructure and transport, a few days ago, suggests testing of three bridges—Lalbakaiya, Kamala and Ratu—by experts.

Ministry Spokesperson Rajendra Raj Sharma confirmed that the report reveals that some of the bridges were constructed against the approved design and drawing.

The committee led by senior engineer Deepak Shrestha of the Department of Roads had studied seven bridges contracted by the Pappu Construction. The other projects examined by the committee were Tilawe bridge in Parsa, Phuljor bridge in Sarlahi and Aurahi bridge in Dhanusha.

The construction company, notorious for grabbing a large number of projects but not completing them on time, is under the scanner for compromising on quality in a number of projects. The committee’s report reinforces growing concerns over the quality of projects handled by the firm Pappu, said officials at the Physical Infrastructure Ministry.

Attributing the delay to a single contractor grabbing a large number of projects, the report suggests discouraging such tendency. “Contractors that complete work before deadline should be rewarded,” the report recommends.

Of the seven bridges inspected by the committee, six are under construction. The Babai Bridge collapsed on August 13 last year before the contractor formally handed it over to the Road Department.

The deadline for completing five projects has expired while July 2019 is the deadline for completing the Aurahi bridge. “But, given the current progress, the Aurahi bridge will also not be completed on time,” said an official.

Lawmaker Hari Narayan Rauniyar, who owns the company, said his company had done nothing against the design and drawing of those bridges. “If the bridges were constructed against their design, the concerned project offices should have notified us. We have not yet received any such complaints from them,” he told the Post.

While the Pappu has complete monopoly over bridge project contracts, it has a poor track record when it comes to quality and timely completion of projects. Of the 41 bridge projects assigned to Pappu and its joint venture partners, the company has missed deadlines of 25, while progress in all the remaining projects is dismal.

Published: 22-09-2018 07:40

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