KATHMANDU, Feb 20: The Public Procurement Monitoring Office has blacklisted seven errant contractors, including the controversial Pappu Construction, for their substandard work and for failing to complete projects on time.
Issuing a public notice on Monday, the monitoring office, which is under the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, has blacklisted Nisha Suppliers, Shreedev Suppliers, Suryodaya Nirman and Housing Company Pvt Ltd, Bara Construction and HBKC Nirman Sewa as well as Pappu Construction.
The blacklisting means these firms are barred from participating in contract bids for up to three years. According to the monitoring office, it has blacklisted a total of 39 low-performing contractors in the first seven months of this fiscal year.
The office is mandated to look into the contracting procedures of the government and it blacklists firms that violate public procurement law, fail to complete projects on time, deliberately delay their work or breach contract terms.
The eighth amendment to public procurement regulations effected last August allows a contractor whose project deadline has already expired by one year to get a contract extension for a limited period of time. If the contractor fails to complete the work within the extended time, irrespective of the cause of delay, the government can seize the performance guarantee and blacklist the firm after recovering any extra cost incurred by the government because of the delay.
Over the past few years, Pappu Construction has acquired a reputation for poor performance in development works.
The Public Procurement Monitoring Office has weighed in against the defaulting contractor following a request from the Kathmandu Valley Road Expansion Project under the Department of Roads.
Rajesh Kumar Thapa of the legal section at the monitoring office said Pappu Construction has been blacklisted after questions arose over both the quality of its work on the bridge along the Minbhawan-Tinkune road in Kathmandu and delays in the construction. “The contractor has failed to expedite even nominal work in the past three years since it was awarded the contract,” said Thapa, adding that the completed portion of the infrastructure has also been found to be substandard.
According to the office, Pappu had been placed in a red zone from time to time including over its work on the Postal Highway. Its substandard work came to light after a boat accident that took place in the Lalbakaiya River in Rautahat district some three years ago.
In the accident, a boat carrying 29 people had hit the under-construction bridge killing five people, and the incident was blamed on slow and defective construction by Pappu.
Following the incident, police grilled Sumit Rauniyar, chairman of Pappu Construction and the son of a lawmaker and company owner Hari Narayan Rauniyar.
Pappu has been under government scrutiny for repeatedly failing to complete infrastructure projects on time. In 2017/18, of the 41 bridge projects assigned to Pappu and its partners, the company missed the deadline on 25 contracts.