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Construction contracts not accomplishing on time being annulled


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2023 Jun 09, 14:22, KATHMANDU

The Department of Roads (DoR) has been annulling the contracts of those construction companies failing to deliver the construction of roads and bridges on time.

Although deadlines were extended repeatedly, the negligent contractors kept on dilly-dallying the construction work for a long time resulting in nullifying the contracts.

According to Nareshman Shakya, Chief of the Division of Bridge under the DoR, the Department would assign construction from the same company despite the delay. The contract would be repealed if there is no condition for the construction company to deliver on time.

The contract for the construction of a bridge over the Trishuli River at Battar, Makaisingh in Gorkha district has been annulled. The process to take forward the remaining works through the new contract is due, said Shakya.

"If the notice is issued in the ongoing fiscal year, the construction work would start beginning the next fiscal year," he said.

Not all construction companies are negligent. Some are very responsible too. For instance, there is a construction company that is repairing the bridge linking the Dhanusha district with Siraha, he informed. He shared that two contracts were, however, on the verge of being annulled.

Chief Shakya shared that some processes like publishing notice have to be fulfilled before annulling the contract and so it will take some time to go into the process of breaking the contract.

According to him, the same company would be given an opportunity if the construction entrepreneur comes forward expressing commitment to carry out the work even when the process for action is forwarded. Shakya informed me that the contract would be annulled if the progress of work is not satisfactory or when work has not been carried out at all.

"The opportunity to continue the work is provided to the contractor coming forward with strong evidence," he said.

Engineer Suraj Adhikari shared that there were several 'chronic contracts' in the under-construction 400 kilometres road of the Mid-hills highway. He informed me that the contract for the construction of the Bheri Bridge has been rescinded some time back as the construction works remained in limbo for long.

Five contracts have been annulled in the current fiscal year in Panchthar. He said the contract had to be called off after the contractor failed to carry out work despite extending the contract many times.

The government has forwarded the construction of the bridge over the Jabdighat Khola in Bardia hiring a new contractor some time back after calling off the contract with the previous one.

Similarly, the contract for the Balaju-Trishuli road has also been annulled after it made no progress for long. There was this practice of extending the contract period of projects, the construction of which remained stalled for long in the past years sometimes citing the COVID-19 pandemic and sometimes pointing out to the amendment of the Public Procurement Regulations.

But nowadays, not only the Department of Roads but the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport is also showing its interest in managing the so-called 'chronic contracts'. Ever since he assumed the ministry portfolio, Minister Prakash Jwala has shown his eagerness in annulling the contract of the contractors not carrying out work and keep the construction projects in limbo for a long.

READ ALSO:

Department of Roads Nareshman Shakya Trishuli River Gorkha district covid-19
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