KATHMANDU, Sept 23: The owners of the controversial Pappu Construction have been asked to pay a cash penalty of around Rs 50 million within seven days by a government body, on charge of breaching the contract agreement of constructing a bridge along the Minbhawan-Tinkune road in Kathmandu.
Issuing a public notice on Wednesday, the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project, Baneshwor, asked the construction company to pay the aforementioned amount in compensation. Similarly, the government body under the Department of Road has also asked the officials concerned of the company to be present at the project’s office within a week.
According to the project office, Pappu Construction officials have repeatedly refused its request to come in contact with the authority. In the latest move, the office sent a letter to the construction company on July 6, but in vain.
On December 19, 2014, Pappu Construction signed a contract to build the bridge. The authority terminated the agreement with the company on November 19, 2019 after the construction work was found to be substandard.
Pappu has been under government scrutiny for repeatedly failing to complete infrastructure projects on time. In 2017/18, of the 41 bridge projects assigned to Pappu and its partners, the company missed the deadline on 25 contracts.
In February 2020, the Public Procurement Monitoring Office blacklisted the construction company after questions were raised over both the quality of its work on the bridge along the Minbhawan-Tinkune road in Kathmandu and delays in the construction.
Pappu had also been placed in the red zone from time to time including over its work on the Postal Highway. Its substandard work came to light after a boat accident that took place in the Lalbakaiya River in Rautahat district some five years ago.
In the accident, a boat carrying 29 people had hit the under-construction bridge killing five, and the incident was blamed on slow and defective construction by Pappu.
In February 2019, former proprietor of Pappu Construction Hari Narayan Prasad Sah Rauniyar and his son Sumit Rauniyar, who owns the company, were released on bail of Rs 17.5 million, in a corruption case filed by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
The CIAA grilled the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal lawmaker Hari Narayan and his son Sumit for using substandard materials in the Babai Bridge in Jabdighat that links Gulariya and Bardiya municipalities.