DAO Kathmandu submits details of 596 ‘unsatisfactory' projects, contractors

Kathmandu, May 28

The District Administration Office (DAO) Kathmandu has forwarded the details of 596 projects and related contractors, who have failed to show significant progress, to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) today.

As per the direction of MoHA, the Kathmandu DAO had asked the 24 heads of government offices to submit all information related to public construction activities in Kathmandu district 10 days ago. The DAO had given a three-day deadline to the government officers to collect and submit the progress report and work schedule of the construction projects related to their offices.

“The reports reveal that the progress of 342 projects, out of the 596 underperforming projects, is extremely poor,” said Basudev Ghimire, assistant chief district officer of Kathmandu district. A total of 254 projects have been completed on schedule, but concerned authorities are yet to check the quality of the works. “Only after the quality checks can we determine whether or not action needs to be taken against the contractors of the projects.”

According to Ghimire, the MoHA is investigating the cause for delay in major projects in the first phase. Thereafter, the ministry will take action against any contractor that had been intentionally delaying the progress as per the Public Procurement Act.

Contractors have been known to quote minimum price while biding for the contact of projects and then intentionally delaying the projects to inflate the construction cost.

“The contractor, head officer of related office, inspection officer and supervisor of the ‘unsatisfactory' projects will all be thoroughly investigated. If the contractor is found to have intentionally caused the delay, the government will take legal action as per the law, which can include blacklisting, penalty, arrests and even jail time,” Ghimire stated.

Similarly, if wrongful involvement of government officers is discerned during the course of the investigation, the MoHA could take action against them as per the Public Procurement Act and also request Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to conduct further investigation and take action.

Ghimire said that the government would, however, show leniency towards the projects that have suffered delays due to legal hurdles or obstacles by the locals.

According to Ghimire, DAO Kathmandu had send letters to 24 government offices that had been allocated majority of funds and were responsible for major projects, including the Department of Roads, Division Road Office of Kathmandu 1 and 2 sectors, Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Department of Irrigation, among others.

MoHA had written to all DAOs across the country seeking detailed information and list of contractors that have not completed their works, like construction of roads, bridges, etcetera, on schedule.