Bridge in limbo as contractor company, workers flee project site in Panchthar

Panchthar, July 18

The under-construction bridge over the Tamor River has been left in limbo after the contractor company and its staffers fled from the work site in Panchthar.

Chitwan-based Swochhanda Construction Company was awarded the contract to build the bridge over the Tamor River at a cost of Rs 170 million seven years ago. The construction was supposed to have been completed and handed over in four years, but even after the deadline was extended repeatedly the bridge remains incomplete.

They started construction work in the year when the contract was awarded.

Contractor Jayaram Lamichhane and other staffers fled the site last year with the construction half-completed.

Vehicles have not been able to ply along the 45-kilometre road that connects Panchthar headquarters Phidim with Terhathum headquarters Myanglung as the bridge has not yet been completed.  Two-wheelers and pedestrians, however, have been crossing the river using a suspension bridge.

Locals accused Lamichhane of neglecting the bridge by influencing  employees at the Department of Road due to his political connection.

It is learnt that the contractor has to pay Rs 2 million in total to staffers and suppliers for construction materials and hotel expenses.

Lamichhane, however, said he was busy in Kathmandu with technical work related to the bridge and that he would clear all dues to his creditors in the near future.