Nepal | September 26, 2020

Govt’s delay in selecting contractor hits Melamchi

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, August 27

Construction of remaining works of the Melamchi Water Supply Project is yet to begin as the government has not been able to finalise the contractor for the job.

Though the government had shortlisted Sinohydro China and a joint venture company High Himalayan Raman to complete remaining works of Melamchi Water Supply Project in mid-July, process to appoint new contractor has been stalled. This is because Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) blacklisted the latter contractor after a joint venture of Raman-Pappu Construction was found to be involved in numerous irregularities by flouting rules and regulations related to procurement and construction while building different projects.

Following this, the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board (MWSDB) had said the agreement would be signed with Sinohydro China to complete the remaining works at Melamchi Project. However, the board is yet to ink the pact, thereby deferring the construction works of the water project.

However, the board informed that the project agreement signing process with Sinohydro has been delayed due to some documentation process. “We are working on the documents for the agreement and planning to ink the agreement before Dashain if possible. If not, we will ink the agreement with the new contractor immediately after Dashain and give pace to construction of the Melamchi project,” informed Rajendra Panta, spokesperson for MWSDB.

As per MWSDB officials, Sinohydro had proposed to complete remaining works of Melamchi Project for almost Rs two billion, 25 per cent less that the proposal of High Himalayan Raman. Even if the government had not blacklisted Raman, the government was likely to award the contract for remaining works to Sinohydro.

Though almost 90 per cent of physical works of Melamchi Water Project has been completed, few works related to headwork and finishing are left, as per the board.

The fate of the water project has been in doubt since December last year after the Italian company, Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna, which was building the project, abandoned it. Moreover, failure of the government to give Melamchi Water Supply Project a proper and prompt direction has
delaying its completion.

A version of this article appears in print on August 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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