KATHMANDU, Oct 3: The new leadership of Federation of Contractors’ Association Nepal has started lobbying to protect Pappu Construction Pvt Ltd -- a construction company that has left different development projects, mostly bridges, in limbo causing cost and time overruns.
A conservative estimate shows the company has bagged more than Rs 5 billion worth of contracts. But most of they are either abandoned or running behind schedule.
FCAN’s new leadership led by President Rabi Singh, which assumed office last week, issued a statement on Tuesday, criticizing the act of putting blames on the construction company for the boat accident in Lalbakiya River which claimed four lives. “We have reservation over relating the unfortunate accident to the contractor company, blaming the latter for the deaths,” stated a press release issued by FCAN General Secretary Roshan Dahal.
FCAN, which had remained silent on the issue so far, is now protecting the construction company due to pressure from Rauniyar, sources close to FCAN say.
FCAN also said that the bridge, which was targeted to be completed by mid-July, 2017, was delayed due to the 2015 earthquakes and the subsequent Indian blockade.
District Administration Office (DAO), Rautahat, has issued arrest warrant against Sumit Rauniyar, the chairman of Pappu Construction, after the latter did not turn up to discuss the bridge project with the concerned authority in Birgunj. Hari Narayan Prasad Rauniyar, who is also a lawmaker, gave the reins of Pappu Construction to his son Sumit some weeks ago only.
The erstwhile leadership of FCAN had also supported Rauniyar when a bridge built by his company at Jabdighat of Bardiya collapsed last year. Though there was a serious discrepancy in construction works of the bridge that collapsed during last year’s monsoon before it could be handed over to the Department of Roads, FCAN had favored the company, stating that the bridge collapsed due to faulty design.
Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has been looking into the case for the past one year.
Though Rauniyar claims that he is no more associated with the company, he has been using political influence to protect his company.
Lawmakers of the parliamentary Development and Technology Committee had, last week, questioned the nomination of Rauniyar and other contractor turned lawmaker Jip Chhiring Lama and Bahadur Singh Lama in the committee, stating that such nomination would lead to conflict of interest.