Pappu Construction halts work on under-construction bridge in Tikuliya Ghat againThe construction company is demanding payments be made to it first, despite it not completing its work.
Pappu Construction has halted work at an under-construction bridge over Lalbakaiya river at Tikuliya Ghat in Rautahat district, again.
The construction company, which is notorious for grabbing a large number of projects but not completing them on time, had been on the news last August after a boat capsized after hitting the pillar of the under-construction bridge, killing five people. The construction work had resumed a few months after the incident but it was moving at a snail’s pace. The works finally came to a halt a few weeks ago.
“The company has halted construction works at Tikuliya Ghat again. It has been nearly two years that the project contract came to an end, but the contractor has not carried out the work effectively,” said Madan Mohan Singh, an engineer at the Division Road Office in Chandranigahapur.
The reason behind the halt: Pappu Construction is demanding payments be made; it has even submitted bills at the Division Road Office. “The contractor has been asking for the payment of a job that it has left incomplete for years,” said Singh.
The construction company was awarded the contract in July 2014 with a completion deadline of July 2017. 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.
The under-construction bridge in Tikuliya Ghat connects dozen of villages—including Banjaraha, Baraiya, Mathiya, Jokaha, Bairiya, Akolawa, Rampur—to Gaur, the district headquarters of Rautahat. For now, thousands of people in the area are compelled to cross the river with a wooden bridge, which is dangerous, especially during the monsoons when the volume of the river rises.
Locals in the area are becoming increasingly frustrated with the dillydallying of the construction company. “People have lost their lives because of the carelessness of the construction company. Yet, they are not serious,” said Bhuwaneshwor Shahi, the ward chairman of Gaur Municipality-4. “Winter is a suitable time to complete work on the site, but the contractor has stopped work. The contractor should be responsible for the project delay and the consequences it causes.”
The Department of Roads has not extended the contract agreement, stating that the bridge construction in Tikuliya Ghat has been delayed due to the negligence of the construction company.