Print Edition - 2016-02-22  |  MONEY

Endless disputes delay infrastructure projects

- AMRITA ANMOL, BUTWAL
Three schemes—solid waste processing centre, auto village infrastructure and ground water drinking project—have been held up

Feb 22, 2016-

A large number of big and small infrastructure projects have been bogged down in delays due to continuous disputes between locals, stakeholders and project contractors. The slowdown in the construction has dampened people’s hopes for development. 

Three schemes worth Rs870 million and funded by the Asian Development Bank—solid waste proces-sing centre, auto village infrastructure and ground water drinking project—have been held up for years. 

The solid waste processing centre is being constructed at a cost of Rs370 million, while the auto village infrastructure and ground water drinking project are being built at a cost of Rs270 million and Rs220 million respectively. 

These projects were launched in 2010 and were scheduled to be completed in 2015. While the drinking water project has begun, project officials have not even made a site inspection at the other schemes. 

Dhurba Bahadur Khadka, executive officer of Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City, said that personal interests and disputes among stakeholders had been major hurdles to project development. 

“After a long time, we succeeded in starting the drilling work for the drinking water project,” he said. “We are now making efforts to conduct a field visit for the solid waste processing centre.” 

Likewise, another clean drinking water supply project that was started seven years ago is still in limbo. The Rs133-million scheme that plans to supply water from Palpa has been delayed due to differences between Nepal Water Supply Corporation, locals and other stakeholders. 

Demands for higher compensation amount, repeated complaints at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority over the procurement process and other issues have slowed the project to a crawl, the corporation said. It said that if the compensation issue was settled, the project could gather momentum. 

Similarly, the construction of the Lumbini Bus Terminal and Shopping Complex has not been completed even after four years. 

The contractors for the Rs65.3-million project—Chakreshori, Michi and Shiva Shakti—have completed only 60 percent of the work due to a dispute with Butwal Sub-Metropolitan city. 

The project sank into controversy after the contractor demanded compensation from Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City for delaying the removal of 36 trees.

The contractors said that the sub-metropolitan city took six months to complete the task and that they should be compensated for the time overrun.  Likewise, work at the government prioritized Siddhartha Highway Belhiya-Butwal Trade Route Extension Project has also slowed down.

The project has been delayed after the government ordered squatters occupying the site to leave. 

The Rs6-million project had started in 2012-13, and so far it has been able to spend only Rs1 billion of its budget. The road engineers said that the five-year project would be delayed further and that the cost would also increase.  

Similarly, the construction of a modern livestock slaughter house has been held up after the contractor disappeared without notice. 

Other projects that have suffered delays are International Conference Centre, Motipur Industrial Corridor, Butwal-Nuwakot Tourist Peace Trail and sky bridge in Butwal.

 

Published: 22-02-2016 08:37

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