Chinese company which bagged Melamchi reconstruction contract reluctant to work


March 15, 2022


Chinese company which bagged Melamchi reconstruction contract reluctant to work

A general view of Melamchi Drinking Water Project site before it was swept away by flood. (File photo)

KATHMANDU: Despite the government’s claim to supply Melamchi water to the Kathmanduites within a month, the Chinese company that got the construction contract has shown reluctance to work.

Fed up with the lack of cooperation from the Chinese side the Melamchi Drinking Water Project has appealed the government for facilitation after the Chinese company failed to work.

Project Spokesperson Rajendra Kumar Pant confessed that the site could not be cleared by removing large stones, soil and explosives from the project reconstruction site.

He informed that the work was halted because the Chinese company Sino Hydro, which was responsible for the work, could not manage the necessary equipment.

Earlier, the Nepal government had signed an agreement with Chinese company Sino Hydro at a cost of Rs 320 million for the remaining work of Melamchi. However, as the company failed to keep with the given deadline, the government has been asked to do the rest of the work.

In the last week of January, Sino Hydro started its work with a plan to complete the project by mid-April. The Chinese company, on the other hand, claimed that it had completed 60 percent of the work by February 25, and demanded that the money be provided. The government had decided last December to rebuild Melamchi on a fast track.

Sino Hydro has obstructed the work saying that it has not received the advance money. In the rush to inaugurate the tunnel without giving time even for testing, at then Prime Minister KP Oli’s direction, the reverse door was installed when the entrance to the tunnel was supposed to be constructed with priority.

According to the technicians, the water was released by opening the door on the opposite side of the door. The faulty construction had resulted in the damage of the project site and the loss of lives and property of many people of Melamchi area.

It was decided to pay 30 percent compensation without any assessment as Sino Hydro demanded compensation saying that the damage was caused due to the mistake of the officials of the development committee.

However, the Commission for the investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is now looking into the matter after the evaluation committee later stated that the maximum amount should not be more than 24 per cent.

The problem has arisen after the committee refused to pay 6 percent (Rs. 152 million) saying it was illegal.

The then executive director has been transferred to the ministry while the current executive director Basudev Poudel has said that such old money cannot be provided.