Valley

Pappu faces another setback

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Nov 28, 2018-

The Birgunj Bench of Janakpur High Court has cleared the way for the Department of Roads to terminate a bridge contract awarded to the defamed Pappu Construction.

In a fresh setback for the firm, notorious for holding a large number of projects only to miss deadlines and deliver inferior work, the court on Monday turned down its appeal for an interim order to stop the termination of Tilawe River Bridge Project in Parsa district.

After the Road Division Office, Hetauda, initiated the process of terminating the Rs21.42 million contract, confiscating the bank guarantee and blacklisting the company for failing to deliver, representatives of the Pappu had moved the court.

But a division bench of Judges Dilliraj Acharya and Bal Krishna Upreti ruled against the appeal, citing that the bank guarantee is a separate contract and there is no condition attached regarding the beneficiary (Road Division Office, Hetauda) claiming the guaranteed amount.

As per the contract signed on August 12, 2011, the project was supposed to complete on August 11, 2013. But, according to the road office, only 33 percent of the project has been completed till date, against Pappu’s claim that 70 percent of the works have been accomplished.

Following the court order, Suman Yogesh, chief of Division Road Office, Hetauda, told the Post that they would proceed with the contract termination process and blacklist Pappu.

“Until now, the contractor has only completed foundation work of just two pillars out of four,” he said.

Pappu, which had remained aloof from any action from the government agencies until recently despite poor performance, has faced a series of setbacks in recent months.

The company has already been barred from bidding in new government projects and its founder Hari Narayan Rauniyar has been suspended from the post of lawmaker following a corruption scandal. It all started after a boat accident at Tikuliyaghat Village in Rautahat district, in which the vessel had hit an incomplete bridge being constructed by Pappu in August.

On October 6, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority filed a corruption case against Rauniyar and his son Sumit along with 10 other government officials and a consultant for constructing sub-standard bridge over Babai River in Jabbighat, Bardiya.

Soon after Sikta Irrigation Project terminated the contract with Pappu that had been commissioned to build canals and rehabilitate the headworks of the Dunduwa Irrigation System.

Based on the request of Sikta Irrigation Project, the Public Procurement Monitoring Office on November 20 barred the Coastal-Pappu JV from taking part in new government contracts before it takes final decision on whether to blacklist it. Once blacklisted, a contractor cannot work in any government contract upto three years as per the Public Procurement Act.

Published: 28-11-2018 07:34

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