Irate locals halt bridge construction citing utilisation of substandard materials in Rautahat

RAUTAHAT: Gaur locals have halted the ongoing construction works carried out under Crystalised Urban Building Construction Project, Parsa citing the use of substandard materials for infrastructural construction.

The construction project currently under operation in the Gaur municipality is estimated to be worth more than Rs 2 billion.

The construction of the road connecting ward no. 9 and 7 of the municipality was made to stop after locals noticed irregularities in concreting of a bridge in the area. The construction company Swachanda-Dhukchhu-Aashraya Joint Venture, Basundhara has been carrying out the construction project for around a year.

Former ward chair Aawadh Bihari Prasad Sah said that locals halted the construction works after it was found that the pebbles used in the bridge construction were twice the size of 40 mm pebbles as prescribed in the estimate. He also complained that there were huge gaps in the joints of the rods and sands from the local river were being used for the construction.

Sah added, "We are compelled to stop the construction since the concerned bodies kept mum despite seeing the use of substandard materials in the construction of infrastructures directly concerning the people."

Similarly, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) member and youth leader Sambhu Sah Kanu of Province 2 questioned the durability of the bridge made from such substandard materials.

The construction of the road, bridge, drainage, shelter as well as adorning of ponds and lakes carried out by Ashraya Construction Services, is found to be using substandard materials, said Kanu.

On the contrary, the project manager Ajay Kumar Gupta defended himself and said that he was just appointed a few days ago and had no idea on the matter and claimed that the situation has been taken under control. However, Gupta accepted that the road was not compacted. He committed to resupplying the standard materials and requested locals to keep on watching over the standards of the materials used in the construction.

However, engineer Laxman Yadav who was assigned to look after the project said that he had repeatedly informed the contractors about the low-quality materials used in the construction but in vain. He claimed that the irregularities from the contractor side were intentional. Moreover, engineer Yadav informed that the contractors had even sent a letter demanding that locals should pay Rs 150,000 penalty for halting the construction.

Having a direct connection with the public, locals will not compromise and the irregularities will be reported to the high-level authorities, Yadav added.