Contractor of Madi bridge to get second deadline extension

Published On: July 18, 2019 04:30 AM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

As per the new deadline, the project has to be completed by mid-December

POKHARA, July 18: Preparations are underway to extend deadline for construction of a motorable bridge over Madi River in Kaski district for the second time as the contractor has failed to complete its works within the given timeframe.

The contractor -- Mrit Sanjivani Construction Service -- is likely to get deadline extension of five months this time. Upon completion, the bridge will connect Ward 3 and 7 of Madi Rural Municipality.

Scaffolding erected by the contractor for construction of bridge was swept away by floods last month. Following the floods, a meeting of stakeholders held an extensive discussion and decided to extend the construction deadline by five months. It also decided to direct the contractor complete the remaining works within five months.

Chakra Bahadur Buda, chief district officer of Kaski, told Republica that the contractor will now have to complete the project by December 16. The revised deadline of the project had expired on July 5. "We have decided to extend the project's deadline one last time after the contractor expressed commitment to complete the project by the end of this year," he added.

"We all know that the work was affected by floods. As going for new bidding will make the project further uncertain, we decided to give one last chance to the contractor," Buda said, adding: "We will take appropriate action against the construction if it fails to complete project within the revised deadline."

The estimated cost of the bridge measuring 82.5 meters in length and 7.5 meters width is Rs 80.6 million. The project was supposed to be completed in 15 months. But its deadline has now been extended by two years.

Bed Bahadur Gurung, chairperson of Madi Rural Municipality, told Republica that the construction company has made a written commitment to complete the project within the revised guideline. "It will be a challenge for the company to complete the project by December. But as it has already arranged required construction materials, it is possible," he added.

Sobhiyat Khadka, senior divisional engineer at the Infrastructure Development Office said that the construction company will have to pay 0.05% of the total cost as penalty on a daily basis to get five-month deadline extension. “At this rate, the company will have to pay Rs 8 million to the government to get five-month extension. The deadline will be extended only after the company pays the penalty to the government," he added.

The construction company, however, has its own story to share. Diwas Sharma, an engineer with Mrit Sanjivani Construction Service, said construction could be started only after eight months of signing of the contract. "As the contract was signed during monsoon, we couldn't start construction works right away. Also, supply of construction materials was delayed as the design of the bridge was changed," he added.

He feared it might not be possible to complete the project within the revised deadline. "As we are in the middle of monsoon, we can start works only after September," he said.

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