‘Italian company pledges to resume Melamchi project’
December 25, 2018 07:21 AM NPT
By: Himal Lamsal
KATHMANDU, Dec 25: The Italian contractor company undertaking civil works of Melamchi Water Supply Project has pledged to return to work after a week. In a letter sent to the Ministry of Water Supply, the Italian company CMC di Ravenna has said that its staff will return to work after celebrating the New Year, according to Gajendra Thakur, secretary at the ministry.
A little more than a week ago, the Italian company had submitted a letter of termination following which the government had briefly detained the manager and staff of the company last Sunday while they were trying to leave the country. They were released after confiscating their documents.
However, the company decided to withdraw its letter of termination.
“The contractor has sent us a commitment letter to continue its works after returning from celebrating the New Year,” said Thakur.
Thakur, who is also the chair of the board of Melamchi Water Supply Project, said, “This is an outcome of a series of meetings we had with the contractor and now we are hopeful that the works shall continue hereafter.”
After stopping the Italian company’s staff from leaving the country, the government had asked two commercial banks to freeze the performance bond for the contract. The contractor appealed against the decision and subsequently Patan High Court Patan asked the government to put the issue on hold until the next hearing on Wednesday.
All this had put the project into uncertainty. The Italian company is facing financial problems back home due to cash flow problem.
Secretary Thakur also informed that the company’s staff were allowed to go to home to celebrate Christmas after the Italian embassy in New Delhi, which also oversees Nepal, held talks with the foreign ministry.
However, a source at the Ministry of Water Supply told Republica that the Italian company’s staff were allowed to go home without strong assurance of their return.