House panel inspects three abandoned bridges of Mid-Hill Highway

Published On: May 27, 2019 10:20 AM NPT By: Sher Bahadur Jero

OKHALDHUNGA, May 27: A parliamentary committee recently inspected three under-construction concrete bridges in the Mid-Hill Highway which have been abandoned since years. The bridge of Khangsangbesi and Sokhu River in Fikal Rural Municipality as well as the Bridge of Badura River which falls in the border of Sindhuli and Udayapur were inspected by the Development and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives. 

The contractor companies which were entrusted with the responsibility of constructing those bridges eight years ago have left the projects halfway. 

Pappu Construction was assigned to construct the bridge in Khangsangbesi while the Bridge over Sokhu River was being built by Nepal Pragati JV. Similarly, Sagarmatha Ghimire Construction had signed the contract for Badura River Bridge.As per the agreement, this project should have been completed within three years but it hasn't picked up pace even after eight years. The members of the committee interacted with the locals, representatives of the contractors and chief of the Mid-hill Highway Project.

Kalyani Khadka, coordinator as well as the chief of the probe committee suggested the responsible authority to cancel the contracts if the works are not expedited in next three to six months. According to her, it's a shame that the contractors have not been able to complete their work even after such a long time.

Deepak KC, coordinator of the Mid-Hill Highway Project stated that the progress of Badura Khola has been a bit satisfactory in last few months but the work of Pappu Construction is very disappointing. The under-construction bridge of Khangsangbesi which was halted due to the dispute with the locals has already become dilapidated.

Sujit Kushwaha, representative of Pappu Construction stated that his construction company had to take over the responsibility of Sokhu River since last year as Nepal Pragati JV left the project halfway. He assured that the bridge will be completed within a month.

By excluding VAT, the contract of Sokhu Bridge was signed for Rs 80 million. As claimed by Pappu Construction, only 60% work has been completed so far. The construction of Badura River has been delayed due to the fluctuation in the price of iron.  In the contract, the price of iron has been mentioned as Rs 8 per kg. Currently, the market price of 1 kg iron is Rs 120. The contractor claims that they are carrying out the project by bearing a loss of Rs 112 per kg iron. This project was signed for Rs 41 million.

The sluggish construction of bridges in Sindhuli has directly affected transportation in Okhaldhunga, Khotang and Solukhumbu among other districts. That's why the committee reached the site to observe the development and provide suggestion.

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