BARA, May 21: The Birgunj-Pathlaiya six-lane trade route project, which was to be completed within two years' time, still awaits completion three years after its commencement. Only 50 percent of the construction work has been completed so far.
The 26-kilometer trade route project was introduced to decrease traffic in the Birgunj-Pathlaiya highway. It is said that the work was delayed because of negligence on parts of both the government and the construction companies. The route was to be completed by mid-July 2018.
According to the project office based in Pathlaiya, the project works were to be conducted in 6 packages, which were awarded to contractors AMR/Pappu/ConTech JV, Shrestha/Biruwa/Apex JV, Pappu/Lumbini JV, Sharma/UniTech Builders/Diwa Nirman Sewa JV, and AMR/ConTech JV.
The deadline for the project has already been extended twice. Ashok Yadav, engineer at Trade Route Expansion Project Office Pathlaiya, said that the first deadline extension was of six months, which was extended again by six months as there was no progress during the first extension. The new deadline is July this year.
"With only two months left till the deadline, only 50 percent of the construction work has been completed," Yadav said. Construction companies had accepted the contract for constructing the road from Pathlaiya in Bara to the dry port in Parsa for Rs 3.1 billion.
"As per the agreement, construction should have been completed by July 2018," Yadav said, adding: "After project completion failed, the deadline was extended."
He stated that electric cables, poles, and houses along the construction site have also posed some problems. As houses and resting points standing along the road section in Parsa National Park, Jitpur Bajar, Sirsiya, Bahuwari, and Parawanipur have not yet been cleared, they stand as obstacles for the project.
The construction work was divided into two sections: a 16-km section from Pathlaiya to Parawanipur and another 10-km section from Parwanipur to dry port in Sirsiya.
The contract for the 16-km section from Pathlaiya to Parawanipur was handed to MMR/Pappu/ConTech JV, Sharma/UniTech Builders/Diwa Nirman Sewa JV, and AMR/Contech JV for Rs 1.81 billion.
Likewise, the contract for the 10-km section from Parawanipur to Sirsiya was given to AMR/Pappu/ConTech JV Birgunj, Shrestha/Biruwa/Apex JV Hetauda, and Pappu/Lumbini JV Birgunj for Rs 1.31 billion.
It is expected that the road expansion will ease traffic and trade through the major entry point of Birgunj where the only operating dry port of Nepal lies.