Kathmandu, May 2
The Development and Technology Committee under the Federal Parliament has said it will monitor the 62-metre-long Bishnumati bridge in Teku and another 85-metre-long Bagmati bridge in Tinkune, which were built by Pappu Construction — a company with a poor track record.
The House panel members had expressed alarm at the state of the bridges during the meeting today.
Stating that the bridge in Teku is technically unstable, the Department of Roads (DoR) has prohibited its use. While the Bishnumati bridge is yet to be handed over to the government, DoR had instructed the company to halt the construction of the bridge in Tinkune due to quality concerns.
“We have heard that the construction company did not follow the proper rules and guidelines set by the government and consultant firm, so the bridges need to be thoroughly examined and irregularities by Pappu Construction should be investigated,” said Kalyani Khadka, chairperson of the committee.
The issue related to poor quality works by Pappu Construction had also been raised earlier and there had been discussion about investigating the projects handled by the firm by forming a joint team comprising members from National Vigilance Centre, DoR, the construction firm and the House panel.
Moreover, during the third quarterly media briefing in the first week of April, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth, had suggested that Pappu Construction should demolish the aforementioned bridges and rebuild them again at no additional cost to the government.
However, the matter is still undecided.
During the House panel meeting today, Khadka pointed at the need to formulate stronger laws so that such errant construction companies can be penalised for irregularities and substandard works.
Earlier, due to substandard construction works in Sikta Irrigation Project located in Banke district and failure to complete the development project on schedule, the Public Procurement Monitoring Office 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 May 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.