India-financed projects face completion delay

RAJBIRAJ: Implementation of 18 development projects funded by the Government of India has been obstructed in Saptari citing the failure to complete ongoing projects within the deadline. Five similar projects, however, saw a timely completion at the cost of Rs 96.5 million.

According to District Development Committee, the proposed projects, including the construction of a building for Kanchanpur Higher Secondary School at Bamangamakatti and the Kathauna-Pato road section, have been halted.

Regarding the delay in the implementation of the projects, the local administration held an all-party meeting two weeks ago. In the meeting participated by the Local Development Officer, project contractors and local political party representatives, the administration threatened to nullify the contract in case the projects were not implemented immediately. Saptari CDO Ram Prasad Ghimire said the contractors of Kunouli-Fattepaur road -- Gajaraj Tated and Arun Kumar Pradhan -- have vowed to complete the works by the second week of March.

Earlier, they were supposed to complete the construction by July 2007. According the DDC, only a quarter of the work has been completed. The Indian embassy has disbursed Rs 29.7 million for the project.

CDO Ghimire said Shekhar Kumar Singh, coordinator of Kanya Hostel Construction Committee, has pleaded for an extension till May to ready the building for Mahendra Bindeshwori Multiple Campus. Only 80 per cent of the project has been completed in four years. The Embassy has earmarked Rs 19.6 million for the project.

The construction of a building for Janata Rameshwor Memorial Secondary School at the cost of Rs 3.1 million remains incomplete, despite the mid-July 2007 deadline for the same.

The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has written to three lawmakers in the district regarding the delay. Indian ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood had drawn the attention of MJF-D lawmaker Hemraj Tated and Jitendra Narayan Yadav as well as MJF Nepal lawmaker Renu Yadav. According to Tated, envoy Sood asked them to cooperate in carrying out the projects on time.

It has also been learnt

that construction works of a building for Narendra Memorial Secondary School in Boriya

and birthing and emergency wards at Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital have been going on at a snail's pace.