Bijuli Bazaar arch bridge is set to open in a month, but there are concerns it will ease trafficThere’s uncertainty over completion of a similar bridge in Tinkune after Pappu Construction, the contractor, was blacklisted for using substandard material.
The completion of two under-construction arch bridges at Kathmandu’s Bijuli Bazaar and Tinkue was expected to ease the traffic along the Tinkune-Maitighar road section. But with the contractor of one of the bridges blacklisted for the use of low-grade construction materials, commuters might continue to face traffic snarls.
According to the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project, the two-lane arch bridge over Dhobikhola will become operational by next month, as 95 percent work has been completed. However, the completion of the bridge over the Bagmati river in Tinkune remains uncertain, as the contract with Pappu Construction was scrapped on November 19 for using ‘substandard underground structure.’
“We handed over the two bridge projects at the same time. While Jayee Construction is close to completing the bridge, Pappu’s contract had to be scrapped because of its negligence,” said Guru Prasad Adhikari, project manager at Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project.
The construction of the Bijulibzar bridge and its neighbouring bridge was started on December 29, 2014. The first bridge project was completed last year after missing two deadlines— one on December 29, 2017, and the other on December 29, 2018.
Officials say an estimated Rs 130 million was spent for the construction of the Dhbikhola bridge.
Earlier in October, the Department of Roads had rejected the operation of bridge constructed by Pappu in Teku after finding that the firm had used substandard construction materials.
Pappu Construction has a bad reputation in the construction sector for hogging multiple contracts worth billions of rupees and rarely delivering them on time or of good quality.
The completion of the arch bridge in Bijulibazar was expected to ease the traffic from Maitighar to Koteshwor, but since the construction of the Tinkune bridge is in limbo, commuters and traffic police see no difference in the state of traffic jam.
“If only the bridge in Tinkune were open, the traffic movement would have been a lot smoother,” said Jeevan Kumar Shrestha, spokesperson at Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.
Adhikari, the project manager at the Department of Roads, said that the department was yet to find a new contractor for the construction of the Tinkune arch bridge.
“Pappu has filed a case in the court, and there is a stay order from the court. Once we get the court’s decision, the department will hire a new contractor,” Adhikari said.