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Eight years on, three bridge projects remain incomplete

- KUMBHARAJ RAI, OKHALDHUNGA

May 24, 2019-

Construction of three bridges along the Sindhuli segment of Mid Hill Highway has been dragging on for the past eight years.

Two of the bridge projects, which are being constructed over Khangsang and Sokhu streams in Fikkal Rural Municipality-4, were contracted to Pappu Construction and a joint venture of Nepal Pragati and Pappu Construction JV, while the third bridge project at Badura stream in Fikkal Rural Municipality-6 was commissioned to Sagarmatha Construction Services.

The builders had agreed to complete the bridges in three years. Eight years have elapsed since the projects were commissioned, and yet the bridges are far from complete. Pappu Construction, which is notorious for missing contract deadlines and delivering inferior works, is already under investigation for abandoning projects worth billions or rupees.

On Wednesday, a team from the Development and Technology Committee of the federal parliament inspected the incomplete bridge projects. The team also met with the locals, contractors and the chief of Mid Hill Highway Project. It was agreed in the meeting that the three projects would get a deadline extension of three to six months.

“If they don’t complete the projects by the given deadline, their contracts would be terminated,” Kalyani Khadka, chairperson of the committee, said. Yagya Raj Sunuwar, the committee member, admonished the builders for not honouring the contracts.

“Everyone involved in these bridge projects should be ashamed for the delay,” he said. Sujit Kushwaha, a representative of Pappu Construction, said it would take at least seven months to complete the Sokhu stream bridge.But Dipak KC, the coordinator of Mid Hill Highway Project, said that the latest deadline will not be extended even by a day.

“The contract with Pappu Construction would be scrapped if it fails to deliver the project in time,” he said.

Ram Prasad Pant, a representative of Sagarmatha Construction, said the bridge project had been delayed due to budget shortage.

Published: 24-05-2019 07:55

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