JV of Raman and GIETC bags Dharahara rebuilding contract

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Sep 3, 2018-

The deadlock over reconstruction of Dharahara has come to an end, at least for now, with the government on Sunday awarding the contract to Raman Construction Pvt Ltd and its Chinese Joint Venture Partner GIETC.

The National Reconstruction Authority ended the four-and-a-half-month stalemate, awarding the contract to the company—the lowest bidder for the project considered to be prestigious and lucrative.

Raman and its Chinese Joint Venture (JV) partner had quoted Rs3.45 billion for Dharahara reconstruction, which is around Rs1 billion less than the next closest bid. A consortium of Kalika Construction, Rasuwa Construction, and their Chinese JV partner CICO quoted Rs4.39 billion. It had filed a complaint at the Prime Minister’s Office stating that the bid document of one of the Chinese companies involved in the process was fake, putting the process

on hold.

Others in the race—ZDIEC Lama JV, a JV of Swachanda Construction and Kumar CFEC JV—had quoted Rs4.50 billion, Rs4.52 billion and Rs4.49 billion respectively. All these companies bidding for the reconstruction of historic monument had a Chinese company as their JV partner.

A total of six companies had reverted to the Expression of Interest call from the NRA to rebuild the monument. Five of them qualified for the financial evaluation while Ashish Construction failed in the technical evaluation.

According to NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali, the authority will hold an agreement with Raman and its JV within two weeks. “We will thoroughly study the document submitted by Raman and its JV. We’ve got to fulfil some procedures before reaching to a formal agreement,” Gyewali told the Post, adding that further proceedings will be held in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act.   

An official at the NRA revealed to the Post that speculation that Kalika had filed an application at the PMO to intervene the process as it learnt that Raman had quoted the lowest amount and would eventually acquire the project has been “more or less proved”. Though Kalika did not mention the name of the company said to have submitted the fraudulent document in its formal application, it had unofficially pointed at the JV partner of Raman.

“The Chinese JV partner of Raman, whose credential was questioned, has been involved in a number of projects in Nepal. That had raised doubt on the allegation of Kalika and its JV,” the high-ranking official said requesting anonimity. All the bidders had presented their bid documents validated by a notary, taking full ownership of their submissions.

The gridlock on the Dharahara reconstruction ended after the authority informed the PMO that it had completed the investigation around two weeks ago. After initial refusal, the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu verified the document submitted by all of the Chinese firms in the bidding. Following the verification, the PMO gave a go-ahead to the authority to open the bids that were electrically secured.  

The NRA chief executive said the Dharahara reconstruction project will now be expedited in consultation with PM Oli who has shown keen interest in rebuilding the iconic building situated in the heart of Kathmandu.

During his first term in office as prime minister, Oli had announced that the project will be implemented by garnering public support with the launching of a programme—Mero Dharahara, Ma Aafai Banauchu (I will build my Dharahara myself).

Gyewali said the project would not face cash crunch as the Ministry of Finance has assured them adequate funds for the project.

Published: 03-09-2018 08:15

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