Bridge project in limboA bridge construction project to link Panchthar and Tehrathum districts has been left incomplete by the contractor.
A bridge construction project to link Panchthar and Tehrathum districts has been left incomplete by the contractor.
The government had commissioned Swachhanda Nirman Sewa to build the bridge over Tamor River at Lumbuwaghat village in Syabarumba VDC-9 of Panchthar in 2012.
As per the agreement, the company was supposed to complete the bridge by July 2015. But after the company failed to meet the project deadline, the Department of Road (DoR) has extended the deadline till March 2017.
The locals, however, claimed that the deadline extension means nothing as the contractor has abandoned the project. They said that the managing director of the company, Jairam Lamichhane, is also involved in a political party and he might have used his political influence to secure the extension.
Birendra Khadka, of Syabarumba-9, said the contractor has only constructed four pillars in five years.
“There are no workers at the project site for the last 18 months. They returned home because the contractor did not pay them,” he said. “Even if the contractor decides to resume the project now, there is no way the bridge will be completed by 2017.”
Lok Bahadur Majhi, who was appointed a security guard for the project site, said the company has not paid him in a year.
Sachin Shrestha, the DoR engineer, said the contractor has attributed the delay to the constraints in transporting heavy equipment, the earthquake of 2015 and the border blockade imposed by India.
The locals do not believe the contractor. They argue that the company should not have taken up the project in the first place if it did not know how to transport the heavy equipment and construction materials to the site.
They have demanded the authorities to investigate into the case, claiming that there has been a high-level corruption in the project.
The DoR engineer, Shrestha, said the government had agreed to pay around Rs 154 million to the company for completing the bridge. The company has already taken around Rs 48 million from the government.