Under-construction bridge at Tikuliyaghat develops cracksThe under-construction bridge in Tikuliyaghat deadline has not been extended but the construction work is still incomplete.
Madan Mohan Singh, information officer and an engineer at the Division Road Office, said that the two girders of the under-construction bridge have developed cracks due to the use of low-quality construction materials.
Pappu Constructions, the contractor company that is notorious for grabbing a large number of projects but not completing them on time, has halted the bridge’s construction work and filed a case at the Chandranighapur-based Division Road Office demanding payment for the incomplete project.
“Even though the deadline has not been extended and the construction work is still incomplete, the contractor has halted works demanding payment,” said Singh.
The construction company was awarded the contract in July 2014 with a completion deadline of July 2017. But only 60 percent of the bridge’s work has been completed so far. Former proprietor of Pappu Construction Hari Narayan Rauniyar had signed the contract agreement with the Division Road Office in Hetauda to construct the 225 metre-long bridge at the cost of Rs 149.3 million.
On August 24, 2018, five people were killed when a boat carrying 29 people across the river capsized after hitting the pillar of the under-construction bridge.
According to officials at the Division Road Office, they had notified the contractor company about the extension of the deadline and repairment of the cracks, but the company paid no heed to them and stopped the construction work.
“We had asked the contractor company to sign documents for the deadline’s extension time and again, but to no avail,” said Singh.
Daroga Prasad, chief of the Division Road Office, said, “Thirty-three months have passed since the deadline ended, but the contractor has not been in contact to extend the deadline.” The Post tried to reach the representatives of the contractor company, but they were not available for comment.
The under-construction bridge in Tikuliya Ghat connects dozens of villages—including Banjaraha, Baraiya, Mathiya, Jokaha, Bairiya, Akolawa, Rampur—to Gaur, the district headquarters of Rautahat. For the time being, Ishanath Municipality has built a temporary bridge over the river.
“We don’t see the bridge getting completed anytime soon. That’s why we invested Rs 700000 to construct the temporary bridge,” said Santosh Mehata, mayor of the municipality.