Work to set up modern cities in limbo

Dhangadi, December 23

Work under the government project to develop modern cities in Dhangadi sub-metropolis and Godawari Municipality in Kailali, and Shuklaphanta Municipality in Kanchanpur is likely to suffer a setback again following the authorities’ preparations to blacklist a company involved with the project.

As per the Regional Urban Development Project, modern cities are being developed in different places, but work on the project in the three local bodies has been held up for quite some time due to various disputes. Therefore the project is bound to hit a snag again with the Public Procurement Monitoring Office preparing to blacklist Raman JV, the company selected to run road construction work in the three places.

While the office maintained that the company is unqualified to take part in any public procurement process and is starting the process of taking action, the donor agency of the project — Asian Development Bank — has, however, demanded that the company be allowed to work for the project citing the fact that the company has not been blacklisted yet. “As the office and the donor agency are at odds whether to allow the company to work, the same has thrown road construction in limbo at all the three local bodies,” said the project implementation unit resource person Engineer Shyamchandra Budhathoki. “Work related to road construction cannot start as long as the action-related issue isn’t resolved,” he said.

Regional Urban Development Project had, in July, submitted a technical proposal of the roads to be built in the three local bodies to the donor agency. The financial proposal, however, is yet to be submitted.

As per the project, contract process for construction of the 10.25km black-topped road in Dhangadi, 15.56km in Godawari and 5km in Shuklaphanta had started. A fund of 1 billion-plus rupees is allocated for the work in Dhangadi, Rs 770 million and Rs 311 million is set aside for Godawari and Shuklaphanta respectively.