Panel identifies anomalies in infra projects

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Aug 18, 2014-

A sub-committee formed to study problems in the management of public procurement has found a number of anomalies in infrastructure projects. The sub-committee under the Parliamentary Finance Committee identified low bidding, ill intention of consultants and collusion between the supervisor deployed by the government and the contractor as the major reasons behind slow progress in project implementation.

The panel headed by lawmaker CP Mainali came to this conclusion after a on-site study of a number of project, including Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road, Sikta Irrigation, Mechi bridge, Charali-Kechana road and airport in Illam.

The construction of the Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road is being carried out in two phases. While the first phase is moving ahead as per the schedule, with just 10-20 percent work remaining, the second phase is far behind schedule, said Mainali at a meeting of the Finance Committee on Monday.

The second construction phase landed in trouble due to the consultant’s “ill intention”. If the project is completed ahead of the stipulated time, the remuneration for the consultant will be lower. “That’s why there is a tendency that the consultant manipulates the contractor not to complete the project before the deadline,” said Mainali.

According to him, consultants and designers design the projects based on Google Maps.

“Since the image in Google Maps and the actual scenario is different, it causes problems like increase in variation costs and delay,” he said.

The study team also identified the tendency of low bidding just to get the contract. In some of the cases, the contractors were found bidding as low as 30-35 percent of the estimated cost. And, they later make various excuses to create variation.

The sub-committee also found that the advance payment the government agencies make to contractors was not being used properly. Besides, contractors’ influence over government supervisors led to poor monitoring.

 “The drainage system along the Nepaljung-Kohalpur road was found to be constructed using pebbles that do not mix up well with the cement, making foundation weak,” said Mainali. “When we questioned, they said other kinds of pebbles were not available in the region.”

Published: 19-08-2014 09:42

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