Officials, contractors accused of using substandard materials

- AWADHESH KUMAR JHA, Morang

May 24, 2015-

Local people here have complained that substandard materials were being used for the construction of over eight km long road north from Bhardaha, Saptari and another from Laukehi, Sunsari to Madhuwan under the Koshi Project headed by the government of Indian state of Bihar.

The Indian officials had not even notified the Land Acquisition Office, also the Project’s liaison office in Biratnagar, let alone any other government offices, before starting the construction work. The Kathmandu-based Swachanda Construction Services Pvt Ltd had won the contract for blacktopping both the roads with an estimated budget of IRs 170 million.

Former Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav accused the Indian officials and contractors of working in collusion and “taking undue advantage of the country’s vulnerable situation”. Yadav has already corresponded to the Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources of the Bihar state government along with details of the work being done by the contractor in his constituency, Sunsari-5, while demanding thorough investigation into the quality of work.

In his correspondence, Yadav has also mentioned that the officials at the Project as well as the contractors have  both refused to release any information when asked for the statement of expenses.

Stating that the agreement clearly states that a sub-base with binding material has to be constructed during the initial phase, Yadav alleged that despite being granted permission to excavate construction materials from Seuti stream, the contractor had been bringing in gravel from Chatara, Sunsari, located relatively far from the site. Likewise, locals alleged that with the monsoons fast approaching the contractor had been deliberately delaying the work so they can get away with shoddy work and fulfill their financial interests.

Meanwhile, Yadav said that he has urged the Bihar government to form a high level committee to take action against those officials found guilty of lacklustre work in the project. Likewise, lawmaker Ashok Kumar Mandal from constituency-2 in Saptari has also corresponded to the Bihar government regarding the shoddy work and demanded action against the guilty.

Published: 25-05-2015 07:02

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