Nepal | January 25, 2021

Govt scraps construction agreement with Pappu


Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, November 14

The government has scrapped the construction agreement with Pappu Construction — a company with a poor track record — for the 85-metre-long Bagmati Arch Bridge in Tinkune, stating that the firm has been unable to meet the set criteria.

Earlier, the government had warned Pappu to dismantle and rebuild the bridge as per the exact specification mentioned in the bidding documents.

An official at the Department of Roads (DoR) informed that a notice stating the contract with Pappu Construction for the Tinkune Bridge has been scrapped will be published soon. “We are doing the final paperwork for further process,” the official stated seeking anonymity as the information has not been made public yet.

Earlier, the DoR had accused Pappu of not following proper engineering guidelines and failing to meet the criteria set by the department for construction of the bridge.

As per the official, the construction company had largely ignored the repeated warnings to follow the set criteria and rebuild the bridge. “Scrapping the contract was the last resort, but the company did not leave us with any other choice.”

On August 1, a technical study team of the DoR had submitted its report that revealed that Pappu Construction had carried out substandard work and that the base of the bridge is unstable. Later on, Kathmandu Valley Road Expansion Project had sent a notice to Pappu Construction to dismantle and rebuild the bridge as soon as possible.

As per the DoR official, the department has already seized the bank guarantee worth Rs 27 million deposited by Pappu Construction after winning the contract.

Of the estimated project cost of Rs 210 million, Pappu has so far already received Rs 60 million under different headings, while only 25 per cent of the construction of the bridge has been completed.

“The bridge will have to be totally dismantled and rebuilt from scratch,” the source said, adding that DoR will soon start a new bidding process for the construction of the bridge.

“The department is also gearing up to recommend Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) to blacklist Pappu Construction,” the source added.

Pappu Construction had won the bid to build this project in December 2014, with the initial completion deadline set for June 2018. Later, the deadline was extended to June 2020.

On August 7, due to substandard construction works in Sikta Irrigation Project located in Banke district and failure to complete the development project on schedule, the PPMO under the Prime Minister’s Office had blacklisted Coastal-Pappu JV and barred it from bidding in the future.

A version of this article appears in print on November 15, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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