Payment to MWSP sub-contractors yet to be finalised

KATHMANDU: The status of payment which the Italian company Co-operativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) has to make to the subsidiary contractors and suppliers is still not decided.

The CMC was the main contractor of the Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP) before it abandoned the project in the middle.

The Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation has stated that although the wages remaining to be paid to the local labours has been finalised, the payment to the sub-contractors and suppliers has not been decided yet and preparations were underway for the same.

The Ministry has formed a technical committee to study about the dues the Italian company owes on the basis of claims for payment made by the subsidiary contractors and suppliers. Ministry spokesperson Ritesh Kumar Shakya said it would take some more time to pay the sub-contractor companies for the materials they have supplied for the project. "Verification is being done to check whether the claims made by the companies for payment of their dues are correct. The payment process will be forwarded once the verification is concluded," he said.

The Italian company had not paid the workers and the sub-contractors when it left the project all of a sudden in the middle. Since then the sub-contractors and suppliers had been demanding that either the government should make CMC pay them or it itself pay their dues. They had also obstructed the project's work calling for the payment.

The government signed an agreement with Sino Hydro, a Chinese construction company, for the construction of the remaining works of the Project after the Italian company deserted it. As per the agreement, the Chinese company is required to complete the construction within 15 months from the time it signed the agreement. The technical committee formed for resolving the problem related to the payment of the dues owed by the Italian company has said the problem will be sorted out within this week. It is also learnt the Ministry is preparing to issue a 'white paper' declaring that Melamchi Water Supply Project would be completed within July this year.