RAUTAHAT, Aug 29: Ex-lawmaker Satya Narayan Bhagat and Kishor Chanau, a neighbor of one of the persons killed in Saturday's boat capsize in Lalbakaiya River, have filed separate complaints with government authorities Tuesday demanding action against Harinarayan Prasad Rauniyar, the civil contractor of the under-construction bridge over the river.
Four people were killed in the boat accident while one is still missing.
The duo have blamed Pappu Construction Pvt Ltd, which is owned by Rauniyar, for the capsize arguing that the locals would not have to use boat to cross the river had the contractor completed the bridge within the deadline. The bridge was to be completed in July, 2017.
Bhagat filed the complaint at the District Administration Office, Rautahat demanding Rauniyar's arrest. Rauniyar is a member of the federal parliament from Parsa district and represents the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal. Bhagat has also demanded that the accident victims be provided compensation.
"The people lost their lives because the contractor left the bridge construction incomplete," Bhagat has mentioned in his complaint.
Likewise, Chanau of Gaur, Rautahat, a neighbor of one of the victim families have also demanded action against Rauniyar in a complaint filed at the District Police Office Rautahat.
On Saturday, the boat carrying 30 people had capsized after colliding with one of the pillars of the bridge. Rauniyar has won the contracts for dozens of bridges but has been sitting on them for years after claiming the mobilization fund, which is 15 percent of the project cost.
Rauniyar has often claimed he has handed over his company to his son Sumit Rauniyar although he still call the shots in the company.
INCOMPLETE BRIDGES LEAVES LOCALS AFFECTED WHILE PAPPU OUT OF CONTACT
Meanwhile, people who have been suffering due to the delays in the infrastructure projects have criticized Pappu Construction.
A bridge over the Bagmati River at Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality in Rautahat was to be completed in three years in June 2013. The foundation stone for the bridge was laid by then Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal but the construction work has gotten nowhere, locals complained. Likewise, another bridge at Gadhimai Municipality being constructed by Pappu Construction is also behind schedule and is unlikely to meet the deadline. Mayor of the Municipality Shyam Prasad Yadav said he doubts the project will be completed on schedule.
Kamala River bridge incomplete since eight years
A bridge project over the Kamala River in Dhudhauli Municipality, Sindhuli remains incomplete for the past eight years and the contractor is none other than Pappu Construction, which has a joint venture with Lumbini Construction. The bridge's completion deadline was mid-July 2016. Spokesman of the Municipality Ritesh Raut said that they had reported the matter to the Ministry of Home Affairs after Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa started booking non-performing contractors in April but have not seen any progress on the project even after the complaint.