UDAYAPUR, Dec 17: The residents of Ward 4 of Triyuga Municipality, the district headquarter of Udayapur, and the surrounding regions have been facing great inconvenience as the bridge across Farset River whose construction commenced six years ago has not yet been completed.
The construction work was initiated on July 15, 2011 and was scheduled to be completed within three years; however, less than 70 percent of the work has been completed even after nearly double that time has passed.
The responsibility of constriction of the bridge was given to BP/Bahadur Thing JV under the supervision of the Division Road Office (DRO) Lahan. However there have been certain shortcomings on the company's part, including inability to appoint workers on time, giving inappropriate wages to workers and the delay in provision of construction materials, according to Keshab Acharya, an Udayapur local.
Another local, Bishnu Bahadur Raut, also expressed his disappointment towards government authorities. “Why is the road department silent even when the contractors have not finished the work? This certainly has some hidden intentions,” he said, expressing his distrust towards the authorities.
As the monsoon approaches, the river swells and floods the surrounding areas, inflicting loss of life and property. “The flooding caused obstruction of transportation for three days during the monsoon,” said Bishnu Kumar Shrestha, treasurer of Himalayan Transport Entrepreneurs Association, expressing the urgency to press the authorities to take action.
Although the government expected the project to cost Rs 50.08 million, the contracting company had agreed to complete the construction for Rs 37.22 million. However, as work was not complete within the designated contract period, the contract was extended until May 29, 2015. But even after two and half years have passed since the extended deadline, only concrete slabs have been made in half of the bridge.
Prem Kumar Rai, a representative of construction entrepreneurs, stated that with time, the construction materials that had been left unattended have been stolen while some have started rusting. Rai stated that the contracting company had four partners, Fauda Bahadur Pandey, Shyam Pokharel, Bahadur Theeng and himself. However, as Pandey betrayed the team after taking Rs 16 million in advance, the project could not be completed on time.
Following frequent public inquirers, the District Co-ordination Committee, District Administration Office, the police and Triyuga Municipality have shown concerns in this matter and officials have inspected the bridge construction site this week. They have instructed the construction company and the road department to resume work at the earliest, and told the division road office to take necessary action against the company if they don't resume construction within seven days.