Prithvi Man Shrestha, The Kathmandu Post, 2 June 2018
As the government initiates action against non-performing and under-performing contractors of state-funded projects, progress in most of the development works in Kathmandu district is dismal.
According to the Kathmandu District Administration Office (DAO), more than 50 percent development projects, mostly related to roads, are running behind schedule with little or no progress.
Details collected by the Kathmandu DAO show that 342 out of the 598 projects are past their completion deadline but construction is far from over. A majority of the projects—298 among the 342—are related to road improvement and expansion.
What is more worrisome is that as many as 88 projects witnessed zero progress even after the construction deadline. All of them are related to roads contracted by the Division Road Office, Kathmandu 1.
Basudev Ghimire, Kathmandu assistant chief district officer, said they have urged the government agency responsible for executing the project to punish under-performing contractors in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. “We are also discussing administrative measures against such contractors,” he said.
Such is the progress that contractors have failed to complete the projects awarded eight years ago. Nayayug Nirman Sewa, Jorpati and Kedar Nirman Sewa should have completed two road projects in Kathmandu by June 13, 2011. But they remain idle even now, after 48 percent and 58 percent works respectively were over. According to the DAO Kathmandu, works were stalled in the lack of funds.
In Kathmandu, as many as 11 projects, which were supposed to be completed on different dates between July 4, 2011 and April 12, 2012, have been stuck.
For instance, Gorkha Appropriate Technology for Reconstruction, a contractor, was supposed to undertake six different packages of road in Kathmandu by July 4, 2011. But, according to the Kathmandu DAO, progress is nil. Under Division Road Office-2, as many as 20 projects remain incomplete. Baisdhara Police Beat Road construction, Balaju and culvert construction at Thulo Khola have seen 10 percent progress so far. Kashyap Nirman Sewa and Sranusuwa Satyam are the contractors. They were supposed to be over by November 5, 2017 and January 9, 2018, respectively.
As many as 22 projects remained incomplete in Kathmandu Metropolitan City. In Tokha Municipality, 11 have crossed their deadlines.There are four projects under the Urban Development Division, which failed to see works completed on time. Budhanilkantha Munici-pality, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited, and District Technical Office, Kathmandu each have one project incomplete.
Home Ministry Spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi said the government would take action against contractors delaying works. As contractors call their arrests “illegal”, Subedi said the Local Administration Act gives the government right to take such action.
In some districts including Kaski and Banke, police have nabbed contractors, which government officials said was necessary to press them to speed up works.The projects have been delayed due to contractors’ inefficiency, lack of funds, and obstruction by locals, among others, according to the DAO, Kathmandu.