National pride project Kaligandaki Corridor’s construction grinds to a haltThe 131km road project kicked off in January 2019.
The Kaligandaki corridor road construction project, a national pride project as dubbed by the government, is caught in limbo because of a lack of raw materials, according to project officials.
The 131km road project kicked off in January 2019. But last week, the contractor company, EKK Infrastructure, found itself in loose ends when the work-in-progress at the 32-km Gaidakot-Pipaldanda stretch had to be halted, according to Rohit Bhattarai, an engineer with the project.
“The project is expected to get over within three years,” Bhattarai said. “But the goal is unlikely to be met if the current crunch of resources continues.”
The company currently needs 55,000 cubic metres of river materials to complete the ongoing section of work. The local unit has published a report saying that could be achieved by extracting the river material from Maheshwari River, but the Gaindakot Municipality has yet to issue a tender notice looking for possible takers.
Representatives from the contractor company say if the work doesn’t proceed in winter, the current fix may drag on for a year since the work can’t be done effectively during the rainy season due to risks of natural disasters.
Narendra Subedi, chief of the project, said that if the current shortage is not addressed quickly, the project may incur further difficulties.
“The contractor company may ask for a raise in budget amount citing the government’s failure to manage resources,” he said, adding that the Gaindakot Municipality hasn’t paid heed to the issue despite repeated calls.
But Ram Prasad Acharya, chief administrative officer at the municipality, said that there has been no agreement that the local unit should facilitate the procurement of raw materials. “We can’t just open a tender to extract river materials because there’s a shortage,” he said. “It’s not under the local unit’s jurisdiction.” The project was granted to the contractor company for a budget of Rs 4.25billion.