ROLPA, Feb 2: The Rural Road Network Improvement Project has terminated the agreement with JJECCAL-Pappu-Koshi and Neupane JV for failing to complete the road maintenance work within the given deadline.
According to Mohdat Bhatta, Chief of the Rural Road Network Improvement Project, JJECCAL-Pappu-Koshi and Neupane JV were awarded the contract to blacktop 20 kilometers of road for Rs 440 million but they were unable to complete the work within the specified deadline. Among the 27 road projects, the project has set a target to blacktop 388 kilometers of road in 16 districts by 2023.
The road from Sulichaur of Rolpa to Syuri is being blacktopped with 80% loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and 20% investment from the Nepal government. The deadline of blacktopping the road was April 20, 2019, but the company has not even completed 15% of the work and the agreement was cancelled on January 25, 2020. The agreement was signed on March 30, 2018, under the condition that after the construction of the road, the company will take care of maintenance and repair for three years.
According to the project officials, the contractors will have to pay a fine of Rs 90 million to the government. According to the Department of Roads, the company received payment of Rs 49 million so far.
According to Man Bahadur Khatri, chairperson of Construction Entrepreneurs Association, Rolpa, construction entrepreneurs should take the termination of the agreement as a lesson and it should motivate them to complete the work within the specified deadline.
The contractors who face the hefty fine have filed a case in the court against the project. “We have filed a case in court against the project. The project has intentionally cancelled the agreement,” said Saroj Gautam, a construction entrepreneur, “We have purchased the company recently and we are not aware of all the details.”