Kanchanpur road projects are running behind scheduleContractors cite funds crunch while stakeholders point to contractors’ negligence for delays.
The construction work of the Daiji-Lipna road in Bedkot Municipality, Kanchanpur, started three-and-a-half years ago but only 55 percent of the work has been completed so far. The road construction was to be completed within two years of the contract agreement.
On April 19, 2017, Nagarjun Constructions, a construction company, was awarded the contract to construct a 16km road from Lipna to Bhamka in Bedkot at a cost of Rs 163.5 million.
But only four kilometres of the road has been blacktopped so far, according to Hemraj Bhatta, an engineer of the Infrastructure Development Office in Kanchanpur.
“As per the contract agreement, the contractor had to complete the construction work by mid-August 2019. But they are citing a shortage of construction materials and Covid-19 restrictions as the causes for the delay in construction work,” said Bhatta, adding that the construction company now has a new deadline of December 30, 2020 to complete the work. “But it seems highly unlikely that the company will meet the deadline.”
The condition of the Kaluwapur-Belauri road section is also similar. Santoshi Thegin JV Construction Company, a contractor company, had received a tender to construct the road in September 2016. According to the contract agreement, the construction work of the road should have been completed within June 2018. But the project is still incomplete despite several extensions to the contract deadline since its initiation.
“Only four kms of the road in the Bansaha area and three kms in Belauri bazaar have been blacktopped yet. There’s a 14km road section in Bansaha and a 15km road section in Belauri area that have yet to be blacktopped,” Bhatta said. The latest deadline for the road project is mid-March. “But the construction work of the road does not seem likely to be completed by then,” he added.
The condition of the 21km Malumela-Gulariya-Dhangadhi road in Kanchanpur is also not different. Swochhanda Construction Pvt. Ltd, a construction company, had received a tender to construct the Rs 184.5 million road four years ago. But the construction work of the road has not been completed even after extending its deadlines time and again. Only 70 percent of the road project has been done so far. The latest deadline for the project is mid-March.
The construction work of the Banka-Nayil-Budar road in Krishnapur has also remained incomplete.
“The opening of the road track has been delayed, as 20kms of the road falls in forestland. We are facing problems preparing an Environment Impact Assessment report,” Bhatta said.
After the formation of provincial governments in 2018, all ongoing road projects which were under the federal government were handed over to the provincial governments across the country.
“Some of the road projects were delayed due to budget shortage whereas some were delayed due to contractors’ negligence. We have been pressuring contractors to complete the construction work within the given timeframe. We are also managing the required budget to speed up construction works,” said Dipak Negi, an engineer at the Infrastructure Development Office in Kanchanpur.