Road contractors missing deadline face blacklisting

 The Division Road Office (DRO) has decided to blacklist contractors who have missed the completion deadline for their projects. For starters, it issued a public notice containing a list of 26 contractors who face action for violating the norms of their contracts.

Kamlesh Kumar Karna, acting chief of the DRO, said these offending contractors were working on projects worth over Rs 10 million.

The office took the strong step after discovering that more than 200 bridge and road projects in Dolakha and adjoining districts had been affected by the negligence of their contractors. According to the DRO, it will first freeze the bank accounts of such contractors before putting them in its bad books.

The DRO blacklisted the 26 contractors after they declined to furnish clarification within the deadline. The office has also asked other contractors to submit their explanation within a week.

“We are firm on taking action against those contractors obstructing development work,” said Karna. The DRO has planned to take equally strong action against another 50 contractors involved in contracts worth less than Rs 10 million.

Meanwhile, the Youth Association Nepal, Dolakha has been pressurizing the government to end the practice of contractors abandoning their projects halfway. Most of the contractors have fled without completing their jobs.

The DRO’s action follows complaints filed by a delegation of civil society members and journalists at the office on Tuesday. Roads and other infrastructure are in poor condition in Charikot due to the negligence of contractors.

However, the contractors have blamed government officials and poor security for the delay. Jaya Ram Lamichhane, president of the Federation of Contractors’ Associations of Nepal, said that contractors failing to complete the work on time should be penalized but the genuine ones should not be bothered.

He added that the government should control extortion and demands for commission for every project. “Without a commission, government officials make the processes lengthy that delays timely construction of the projects.”

Last year, a budget of around Rs 260 million had been allocated for the construction of roads and bridges in Dolakha, Ramechhap and Sindhupalchok districts, but the funds were frozen due to delays in their execution.

Source: eKantipur