Molung Khola bridge construction delayed by over four yearsThe Infrastructure Development Office has asked the contractor company to present a written work procedure within a week.
Six years since its construction began, the Molung Khola Bridge has neared just 50 percent of its completion. While the initial deadline for the bridge was four years ago, it got extended time and again, as the construction company failed to deliver the work on time. Once complete, the motorable bridge will connect Molung with Sunkoshi Rural Municipality.
The contract for the bridge construction was handed over to Rajendra Lokpriya JV Company, which is owned by the Dadheldhura-based Parshuram Municipality’s Mayor Bhim Bahadur Saud.
The construction has seen many in-charges, but most of them left after working for a month or two.
When the company’s representative Rabindra Lama vowed two years ago that the construction would complete that year, locals were hopeful. But soon after he delivered the promise, Lama quit the job. The current company representative is Bidur Kandel.
When the contract was handed over to the company in July 2013, it was agreed that the bridge would be completed within two years of the signing date. The initial cost of the construction was estimated to be Rs 33.2 million, but it was later raised to Rs 56.9 million. The construction is supported by the Swiss Government, and its contract is now under the jurisdiction of the Infrastructure Development Office.
On Wednesday, the Office met with the team representing the contractors and stakeholders, which included MP Yagya Raj Sunuwar and provincial MP Mohan Kumar Khadka. The meeting has asked the contractor company to present a written work procedure to the Office within a week.
After going through the submitted work procedure, the Office will decide whether to extend the deadline further or to penalise the contractor company, Sunuwar said.
Okhaldhunga’s Chief District Officer Ganesh Acharya said that while he had asked the owner of the company, Saud, to attend the meeting, Saud didn’t.
“Saud is not responsible towards the work his company has undertaken,” Acharya said.
When the Post tried to reach Saud, he refused to comment on the issue. However, in a telephone conversation with the Post six months ago, Saud had said he had been betrayed by his trusted acolytes in the bridge construction.