India cuts back on development grants, projects left in lurch

Kakadbhitta

Jul 29, 2014-

Following the cutback on development grants by India, the under-construction projects in the district are feared to be left incompleted. The Indian Embassy had been providing financial assistance for infrastructure development, including the construction of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, buildings, and warehouses in the district.

The Indian government has reportedly reduced the funds citing the delay in completion of the projects, fund irregularity issues, and use of low quality products.

According to central member of Nepal-India Friendship Association Om Prakash Sarawagi, the neighbouring country decided on the cutback of funds precisely after the delay in the construction of a cold storage in Bhadrapur. Sarawagi claimed of not being in a position to ask for further grants due to the aforementioned tendencies of the concerned officials. The Indian Embassy also specifically expressed its dissatisfaction over the quality of products used while constructing school buildings in Rajgadh, Baniyani and Pathariya, and the maternal ward of Mechi Zonal Hospital.

The district, which landed up to four projects a year, has not managed to acquire funding for the past two years. And owing to the self-indulgent nature of a few and the contractor’s negligence, the district has been losing several of the big development projects. Without adequate funds, the project to widen the road from Birendra Boarding School, Chandragadhi to Lekhnath Chowk through Dhanushamode and construction of a drainage system has remained uncertain.

Pushpa Raj Pokhrel, organiser of the cold storage construction supervision committee, also expressed concerns over the way the project was going ahead and condemned the use of low quality materials in the construction of school buildings and the maternity ward. “The problem had stemmed due to the substandard performance over the years,” Pokhrel said.

Although the cold storage project was supposed to complete within 15 months, after 28 months it still remains unfinished. According to municipality engineer Yogendra Ranjitkar, Sunaula Khimti Construction Company had reached an agreement to complete the work in 15 months for approximately Rs 41.3 million, including tax.

Ranjitkar mentioned that the work was going on full swing and hoped that the construction will be completed by the end of June.

However, local journalist Deepak Adhikari said even if the contractor worked in full pace it would still take at least six months for the completion of the project since almost 25 percent of the construction remained incomplete.

Published: 30-07-2014 09:22

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