Preparation ongoing to extend deadline of Mohana Bridge-Attariya road

DHANGADHI: The preparation is ongoing to extend the deadline for the under-construction Mohana Bridge-Attariya road in Kailali district.

It has been reported that deadline for completion of the six-lane road construction is being extended for a second time due to disruptions caused by the nationwide lockdown.

The road construction is being carried out through the North South Trade Route Improvement Project Directorate by dividing the road into three sections. The deadline for construction of the first section from Mohana Bridge to Boradandi was November 21 last year. Likewise, the deadline for the second section from Boradandi to Geta and from Geta to Attariya is on January 28 next week.

Prior to this, the deadline for the construction was extended by 18 months for the first section and by 20 months each for the second and third section of the road.

The companies involved in the construction could not continue the work due to lockdown, according to Mohana Bridge-Attariya Six-lane Road project's engineer Laxman Rawal. He said, all the construction companies involved have already submitted applications asking for an extension of the deadline to July. However, the project office has informed that the deadline will be extended within the current fiscal year 2020/21, Engineer Rawal said and added that the office has already issued a directive to construction entrepreneurs to complete the work within the current fiscal year.

The deadline will be recommended citing the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, Rawal said. The project office has already submitted a file to the Department of Road regarding deadline extension for the first section of the road while files for the second and third sections are being prepared in order to extend their deadlines.

As per the decision taken by the government, deadline will be extended by six months for all the projects that had come to a halt due to lockdown. However, government's decision taken during the lockdown can be applied to contracts and agreements of the projects reaching the deadline, Rawal said and added, "Government's decision is not clear about the ongoing construction projects."

At present, the 14.2-km under-construction Mohana Bridge-Attariya road that started in 2017 has overall witnessed 80 percent of physical progress. Likewise, each of the first and second sections of the road have witnessed 85 percent of progress while the third one has seen only 75 percent progress.

Meanwhile, the construction work has taken pace in all three sections of the road. Sharma Amar-Nagarjun Joint Venture (JV) company has carried on with the work despite crossing the deadline. Likewise, Lumbini-Rajendra-Danphe and Lama-Rajendra-Danphe companies have also continued with the work in second and third section of the road respectively.

The construction of the six-lane road has been estimated at Rs 1.65 billion, the project office informed and added that 75 percent of the total amount has already been paid.

It has been noticed that initially the construction work could not gain momentum due to a dispute on compensation. Subsequently, the construction work had come to a halt due to lockdown since mid-March.