Kailali, July 29
Staff members of the Ranijamara Kulariya Irrigation Project, a national glory project being run in Kailali district, have been allegedly seeking millions of rupees in commission from contractors.
A total of Rs 1.38 billion had been allotted for the project in the last fiscal. Embankment construction is a component of the project.
Rajendra MK Royal JV Construction company had been entrusted with construction of an embankment on the banks of the local Pathariya river for Rs 49.1 million in Tikapur.
According to Chakra Bahadur Shah, chief of the construction company, they were asked by a project staffer to provide them 15 per cent of the total project cost as commission.
“Project engineer Krishna Prasad Rajbanshi demanded 15 per cent commission. He told us that of the total commission, three per cent was for awarding the project, 10 per cent for office-based staff and two per cent for field staff of the project,” said Shah.
“After we refused to pay the amount, they started giving us all kinds of troubles, including non-endorsement of bills forwarded by us and low performance evaluation of works we have carried out so far,” he said. “A case in point: we had submitted a bill of Rs 13.5 million in the last fiscal but were reimbursed only 9.2 million rupees,” he said, adding that the lack of payment had affected the work.
Likewise, Rajendra Swar JV Construction company was entrusted with construction of another embankment along the same river for Rs 27.658 million. “The contract was approved in January-February, but as we didn’t pay the commission they asked for, we did not get the permission to start work until April-May,” said Laxman Swar, chief of the company. He added that the project office had not, yet, released all the fund for the work the company already completed.
Construction companies, namely Amar Construction, KS Construction, Kumar Construction, and Indradhanush Jagriti Construction, were the companies that the project partnered with, in the previous fiscal. Most of these companies have rued hurdles created by the project staff over the commission matter.
Sushilchandra Acharya, chief of the project, however, denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations were false. “Nobody from the project office has sought commission. If anyone has done so, I will take action against the person,” he vowed.
A version of this article appears in print on July 30, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.