GORKHA, March 2: The construction of an integrated settlement for the rehabilitation of the homeless and squatters in Palungtar of Gorkha remains halted for the last one year.
The work was going at a good pace until the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) obstructed the project.
Deepak Kandel, mayor of Palungtar Municipality, stated that this has proved to be a waste of time, effort and money as Rs. 20 million has already been spent on the project, besides time and labor. While signing the project, the cost of the project was estimated to be around Rs. 155 million.
However, the work remains halted after spending Rs. 20 million from the sanctioned budget.
With this, the responsibility of rehabilitating the squatters has come under the municipality. Stating that the construction of the building will help manage the squatters in the major market area of the municipality, representatives have urged the NRA to restart the work again. "This building can play a pivotal role in developing Palungtar into a smart city," said Mayor Kandel.
There are around 80 households of squatters in the municipality.
Meanwhile, Ram Sharan Acharya, chief of NRA, District Project Implementation Unit, claimed that he has not received any information regarding the resumption of the project. "The construction of the building has been halted due to some complications but that does not mean it won't be complete," said Acharya.
As NRA has delayed the work, the contractor, Shyam Sundar Construction Service, has demanded Rs. 18 million with the responsible authority for the cost of the equipment, labor and machinery.
This has left NRA with no option other than providing the compensation after studying the spending of the project.
Preparations were underway to lay the foundation of the building when NRA halted the project. While the authorities are yet to decide whether to resume the project, construction materials and equipment have disappeared from the site.
The contract for the construction of the building for the integrated settlement of at least 130 households was signed on July 14, 2017. As per the agreement, the project would have been completed in three years.