Print Edition - 2016-04-16  |  MONEY

Projects stuck midway due to lazy contractors

- MADHAV ARYAL, PALPA
Emboldened by government’s reluctance to take action for falling behind schedule, the slowpoke contractors have been showing little interest in completing the projects

Apr 16, 2016- A number of large construction projects in the district have remained stuck midway due to the disinterest of the contractors handling them. Emboldened by the government’s reluctance to take action for falling behind schedule, the slowpoke contractors have been showing little interest in completing the projects. 

As a result, the construction of infrastructure like roads and office buildings of government agencies including the village development committees and the maintenance of shrines, school buildings, cold storage, health posts and prisons have been stuck midway for years. Despite slow pace of work, the government has not imposed fines or blacklisted the offending contractors. 
The authorities have repeatedly extended the deadline, even then the contractors have not finished the projects. The contractors have reportedly gone out of contact after winning the bids. There are more than one dozen projects with estimated costs ranging from Rs3 million to Rs100 million that have remained abandoned for almost a decade. As a result, investments totalling Rs500 million have been stuck in these projects. 
Most of these projects are undertakings of Tansen Municipality, the District Development Committee of Palpa and offices related to building construction, road, health, women and children and irrigation. Contractors are usually given a deadline of 15 months to two years to complete the construction work. The concerned 
authorities have been extending the deadline despite the delays instead of taking action against them, people complained. 
The construction of the Rambha Higher Secondary School building is an example of the contractors’ negligence. The school building being built with a Rs50 million grant from the Indian Embassy has remained in limbo for the last four years. The contractor was reported to be out of contact for two years. Bhimarjun Pandey, the engineer for the project, said that 80 percent of the construction work had been completed so far. 
A view tower being constructed at Shreenagar with a World Bank grant has remained incomplete for the last eight years. Tansen Municipality has invested more than Rs5 million in the project. Likewise, only 80 percent of the construction work of the Archale Health Post has been completed in the last seven years.
Madhav Gyawali, an official at the District Health Office, said they had been repeatedly rushing the contractor to complete the health post.  Similarly, an office building being erected for the Women and Children Office is nowhere near being completed even though five years have passed since the groundbreaking. A budget of Rs8.4 million has been earmarked for the building’s construction, said Tulsa Aryal, chief of the office.

Published: 16-04-2016 08:15

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