Clique contractors immune to Home Ministry offensive

Clique contractors immune to Home Ministry offensive
Vehicles passing through a badly damaged road section of Ring Road, at Satdobato, Lalitpur, on Thursday, November 3, 2016. Photo: THT

 

Home Ministry launches an a particular problem against non-performing and under-performing contractors, even arresting some, politically well-connected contractors stay untouched by the move.

Performances of Pappu Building owned by lawmaker Hari Narayan Prasad Rauniyar of the ruling Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and that of Shailung Construction, whose Leader Sharada Prasad Adhikari is the owner of Nepal Communist Party Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, are of particular interest for the number of projects being built and the holds off.

Improvement in a number of projects handled by these two companies is disappointing, raising questions if they enjoy political protection. To get instance, a bridge over Bagmati River at Tinkune in Kathmandu was intended to be completed on June 19 this season. With Pappu Construction failing to work on time, the progress has been discouraging at 20-25 percent, in line with the Department of Roads (DoR).

The Bagmati bridge is among the a dozen projects performed by Pappu Construction, which are running behind their schedule. The organization had received deals to create around four dozen bridges apart from roads. However, almost all of them face delays, DoR administrators said.

Pappu Construction, said officials, is notorious for bidding government projects at the lowest price but is not completing them on time. Such is its poor background that the Oriental Development Bank, which financed construction of a passage over Bisnumati River at Teku, didn’t provide further support. The ADB ripped out after Pappu failed to complete the connection works by the Dec 2017 deadline. “Around eighty percent work has recently been over. The federal government has to inject its own resources into the remaining activity, ” said a DoR official.

In Kathmandu only, the business has got deal for two bridges over Bagmati and three over Bishnumati–all unsatisfactory works, relating to DoR officials. “In case of the Bagmati bridge, the company just lately mobilised staff at evening in order that the consultant would not supervise construction, ” a senior DoR official said.

Lawmaker Rauniyar blamed the government for the holds off in works undertaken by his company.

“The government’s failure to clear electricity, telephone and sewerage systems nearby the project site at Tinkune forced us to start out late, ” said Rauniyar, claiming that he got already handed over all the Pappu Construction duties to his son. “In case of the Teku bridge, the style was changed two times so we could not start work with time. very well

As far as Shailung Construction is concerned, people travelling on the Kalanki-Nagdhunga section suffer due to traffic jams and dirt. Three packages of the project were supposed to be completed between mid-October 2017 and mid-January 2018.

But DoR officials say construction work has not begun for 5km of the 9-kilometre stretch. The contract was awarded to a joint venture company led by Shailung in mid-July 2015. “In the package from Tribhuvan Playground to Nagdhunga, around 75 percent road section has been blacktopped, ” said Mukti Gautam, spokesperson for the DoR.

According to officials, work on a 4km section has not begun due to a stay order of the Supreme Court while building on the 1 kilometer stretch was delayed since some roadside house owners had refused the settlement amount.

“But the works got delayed at some locations where right of the way is clear as a result of contractor failing to get down to work on time, ” said a DoR official. Shailung Chairman Adhikari admitted some weakness on the part of his company citing unavailability of sand credited to analysis on their mining in Dhading while blaming the government’s failing to clear the right of way for holdups hindrances impediments.

“Hopefully, we will get the job done where right of how is clear within this monetary year. Then we’ll eliminate the contract ourselves, very well Adhikari told the Content, expressing displeasure at “continued efforts in the mass media to defame me by linking me with Dahal”.

Shailung also failed to complete ideal for the Bishalnagar-Chandol-Chakrapath road section and the Buddhnagar-Ratna Rajyalaxmi College section of the street punctually. Here, Adhikari attributed obstruction by locals for the delays.

DoR representatives admit that some assignments were afflicted by not enough budget allocation and wait in completing design works. Nonetheless they said the trend of a single builder to lay their hands on many projects at any given time had afflicted works as equipment and workforce are shared among various techniques.

The practice of putting in a bid less than the estimated cost is one more at the rear of contractors failing to complete works on time. In the case of Pappu, the bid amount is practically half the approximated cost.

For instance, the estimated expense of the bridge over Tarahari Jhanjha river in Rautahat was Rs80. 67 million but the Division Road Business office, Chandranigahpur accepted Pappu’s Rs48. 09 million bid. Because of this, only 18 percent building work has been over even as the arranged deadline expired on May well 16.

Questions over quality

A bridge built by Pappu Construction over Babai River at Jabbighat in Bardiya collapsed on July 13, 2017 when work was about to be over. Despite locals’ persisted insistence that a weakened foundation had been placed, the project was allowed to proceed. The 55th twelve-monthly report of the Office of the Auditor General says that it is February audit found one pillar sinking while others twisted. Some slabs were cracked while the upper surface of the bridge was roughened beyond use.

The federal government spent Rs197. 5 , 000, 000 on the structure even after the project was awarded to Pappu Development on July 6, 2016. The report said work to complete the job by recovering compensation amount from the contractor acquired not begun. According to a Road Department public, a quality test conducted by the Institute of Engineering found the building blocks poor. But the contractor has denied the charge quarrelling that the test was conducted in its deficiency. The test was transported out at the order of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

This is not the only project where Pappu Construction is located to have compromised on quality. The contractor was fined Rs58. 47 , 000, 000 for failing to complete a portion of the Nepalgunj-Kohalpur street. The caliber of works was also poor, according to DoR officials. But Pappu Building traveled to arbitration and gained the legal battle with a three-member team deciding in its favour. “The arbitration last month dominated that Pappu need not spend on compensation while the DoR owes the builder around Rs20 million, inches said a DoR formal.

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