Only 65 percent completed after five years on a four-year contract worth Rs six billion « Khabarhub
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Only 65 percent completed after five years on a four-year contract worth Rs six billion

Auditor General raises concerns

08 June 2024  

Time taken to read : 4 Minute

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KATHMANDU: The Chinese contractor responsible for constructing civil structures under the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project has significantly delayed the work.

Guangdong Yuantian Engineering Company Limited, the main contractor for civil structures including headworks, powerhouse, penstock, and surge shaft, has not met the deadlines.

The contract was signed on July 29, 2019, between the Chinese company and Raman Construction under a joint venture agreement.

The contract, valued at Rs 6.16 billion, stipulated that the civil construction would be completed within four years, by July 29, 2023.

However, nearly a year after the contract period expired, only 65% of the work has been completed.

The Chinese contractor has repeatedly failed to adhere to the contractual terms.

The company was tasked with constructing a 120-meter-long headworks with two gates on the Bheri River, penstock pipes, and the powerhouse.

Despite the lapse of the contractual period, it remains uncertain how much longer the contractor will take to complete the remaining 35% of the work.

Officials from the project express concerns that at the current pace, even two and a half more years may not suffice to finish the civil works. The delays are expected to increase both the project timeline and costs.

The civil, hydromechanical, and electromechanical aspects of the project are being overseen by the Iranian consulting firm Mahab Ghods Consulting Engineering Company, which is responsible for design, supervision, and contract management.

The project has faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local obstructions, and other issues.

Despite the goal to complete all works by the fiscal year 2023/24, limited resources and poor contractor management have caused further delays.

The project was granted a one-year extension due to COVID-19, with the new deadline set for August 2024.

Project Information Officer Pawan Adhikari mentioned that the work volume increased, necessitating the extension.

He added that further delays are anticipated due to additional workload and design changes.

The Office of the Auditor General has also raised questions about the delays in the civil structures.

Their 61st report highlighted that the NPR 6.16 billion contract should have been completed by August 14, 2023, but as of mid-July 2023, physical and financial progress stood at 42% and 39.95%, respectively.

The Auditor General’s office emphasized the need for contractual penalties and completion of the work as per the terms.

The revised cost estimate for the Bheri Babai Diversion project is Rs 36.80 billion, with Rs 33.19 billion for the diversion and Rs 3.61 billion for the Bheri Corridor Development Project.

The 12.2 km tunnel was completed in April 2019 at a cost of approximately Rs 16 billion, using tunnel boring machine (TBM) technology for the first time in Nepal.

The project aims to generate 46.8 MW of electricity, with the powerhouse under construction on the banks of the Babai River in Bheriganga Municipality’s Hattikhola area.

Additionally, the project will provide year-round irrigation to 51 hectares of agricultural land in Banke and Bardiya districts.

Construction began in the fiscal year 2014/15, with the project’s office established on August 24, 2011, in Birendranagar, Surkhet, as the first multipurpose project by the Irrigation Department.

Publish Date : 08 June 2024 13:48 PM

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