Construction work gains pace on stalled development projectsConstruction companies claim that the project works were delayed due to the prolonged lockdown.
The construction work of most development projects left unattended for the past nine months has gained momentum in Myagdi district of late.
The contractors of 17 big development projects of road, hydroelectricity, transmission line, sub-station, bridge and buildings in the district, who had left the project sites during the nationwide lockdown, have returned to work. They had stopped work and left the projects incomplete for months citing difficulties caused by the pandemic.
“The contractors of those big projects worth around Rs13.16 billion had left their works and gone out of contact since the lockdown was enforced in March. Around half of them have come into contact and a few of them have started work on the site,” said Chief District Office Umakanta Adhikari.
The district administration office, people’s representatives and various offices under the local, provincial and federal governments had pressurised the contractors to come back to work.
The district administration office organised an interaction programme a few weeks ago which was attended by the chiefs of several government offices, representatives of several local units and civil society leaders, among others. The participants discussed the issue of unfinished development projects and underscored the need to exert pressure on the contractors to complete work on time.
“Some contractors of small development projects have returned to the site and resumed work. The contractors of big projects are yet to initiate work in full swing,” said Debendra Bahadur KC, chief of the District Coordination Committee.
According to him, the contractor of the Galeshwor-Bhagawati road is yet to resume work while the works on the Beni-Darbang road, Beni-Jomsom road upgradation and Pokhare-Chitre road are yet to go in full swing.
Lama-Samanantar JV, the contractor of Beni-Darbang road project, has been mobilising a dozer in the Singa area for the past few days. The project deadline was extended to October 16 for the second time. Only around 40 percent work of the project has been completed so far.
“The construction work of the Beni-Darbang road resumed two weeks back. Though there are not enough workers and equipment mobilised for the work, we are hopeful the project work will gain momentum,” Kharmaya Bitalu, the vice-chairperson of Malika Rural Municipality. “The road had to be widened and blacktopped last year. But progress is slow.”
Almost all the major development projects in the district have been delayed. The construction companies claim that the project work was affected due to the prolonged lockdown.
“The work was halted due to the lockdown and a shortage of workers. We have returned to work now,” said Gautam Bhusal, a representative of Motidana-Jayamata JV. The company has resumed upgradation work of the 18.5km-long Pokharebagar-Chitre road. It has mobilised technicians and workers in the project site for the past two weeks.
Similarly, the construction work of three motorable bridges in the district has started after Tihar. Works on the Beni-Jomsom-Korala road project have also begun.
“Development works are gathering momentum now that the nationwide lockdown has ended and major festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath are over. Workers are also available,” said Sata Prasad Roka, the chairman of Mangala Rural Municipality. “We are hoping that development projects will complete on time.”