Delays plague projects entrusted to foreign companies in Nepal « Khabarhub
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Delays plague projects entrusted to foreign companies in Nepal


12 June 2024  

Time taken to read : 5 Minute


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KATHMANDU: Major infrastructure projects in Nepal, particularly those assigned to foreign construction companies and contractors have encountered persistent issues.

Delays and setbacks have plagued endeavors ranging from road infrastructure to irrigation, bridges, tunnels, and other critical developments outsourced to foreign entities.

Various factors have contributed to the sluggish progress of these projects.

The expansion of the Ring Road’s second phase in the federal capital, Kathmandu, stands as a prominent example.

Despite the completion of preparatory work along the project site (from Kalanki to Bashundhara Chowki) a year and a half ago, progress has faltered due to complications with the Chinese contractor.

Notably, the detailed study report (DPR) for the Ring Road expansion remains elusive, further exacerbating delays.

The reluctance of the Chinese contractor to proceed with the project’s expansion has cast uncertainty over its timeline.

While progress on the eastern section, Jamune-Pokharakhanda, under the purview of China Communication Construction Company, shows some promise, overall project completion hinges on deadline extensions, as noted by Project Head, Shyam Kumar Yadav.

The Narayan-Butwal Road Project, awarded to a Chinese company, also faces significant delays.

Initially slated for completion within three and a half years, the 113 km road extension project remains only 55 percent finished after five years.

Despite repeated deadline extensions by the Chinese contractor, completion dates remain undetermined.

Similarly, the Nagadhunga-Sisnekhola Tunnel Project, funded by the Japan Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Nepal, has missed its stipulated completion deadline.

Despite a one-year deadline extension to December 2024, progress remains sluggish, with only 50 percent of the 87-kilometer project completed, divided into two sections.

Initiated with a 42-month timeline, delays in construction by the Japanese contractor have pushed milestones behind schedule by nearly a year and a half, with projections indicating further delays.

The extension of the Muglin-Pokhara road section, spanning 41 km, has encountered setbacks as well.

Commenced in April 2021 with a slated completion window of three and a half years, the project has only achieved about 60 percent completion by its April 2024 deadline.

While progress on the eastern section, Jamune-Pokharakhanda, under the purview of China Communication Construction Company, shows some promise, overall project completion hinges on deadline extensions, as noted by Project Head, Shyam Kumar Yadav.

The completion date of the road expansion project undertaken by the Indian contractor company AIPL and Shailung Construction in JV remains uncertain.

Shailung Construction, led by Sharda Prasad Adhikari, purportedly the landlord of of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, assumed responsibility for the project after Indian company IPL withdrew.

Initiated on June 2014 with a three-year timeline, the Kamalbinayak-Nagarkot road extension project has surpassed a decade without completion.

Despite 20 deadline extensions, only 95 percent of the 16-kilometer road expansion is complete.

Similarly, the Kamala-Kanchanpur road extension, contracted to China Railway-2 Engineering Group, faces stagnation.

Despite a one-year deadline extension to December 2024, progress remains sluggish, with only 50 percent of the 87-kilometer project completed, divided into two sections.

The Rasuwagadhi-Safrubensi road extension, initiated with Chinese investment, has languished unfinished for a decade.

Likewise, projects like the Chhahare-Bidur road, Balaju-Kakani-Trishuli road extension, and Bhedetar-Rabi-Raakeh road, entrusted to Indian Construction Company, are overdue.

Asserting the government’s commitment to enforcing accountability, Dhakal underscores measures such as seeking explanations, blacklisting, and contract cancellations for non-compliant entities.

Pradeep Raj Shakya, project head, cites challenges, with only 39 kilometers of the 87-kilometer Kamala-Kanchanpur road and other projects showing progress.

Rabi Singh, President of the Federation of Construction Professionals of Nepal (FCAN), criticizes foreign companies’ struggle to adapt to Nepal’s development environment and coordination hurdles, leading to persistent delays despite efforts for transparency.

In Nepal, securing permission through written letters entails a lengthy process, often requiring personal follow-up with authorities.

This bureaucratic challenge adds to the hurdles faced by builders.

Shusil Babu Dhakal, Director-General of the Department of Roads, highlights the complexities further exacerbated by foreign contractors’ unfamiliarity with Nepal’s development landscape.

Despite attempts at transparency, the lack of an enabling environment complicates matters.

Dhakal outlines a stringent policy aimed at holding both foreign and domestic companies accountable for contractual obligations and delays.

He emphasizes the government’s stance against shielding non-compliant contractors, citing instances where external factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn impacted project timelines.

Asserting the government’s commitment to enforcing accountability, Dhakal underscores measures such as seeking explanations, blacklisting, and contract cancellations for non-compliant entities.

He affirms the department’s role in facilitating timely completion of construction projects, signaling a proactive stance towards enhancing efficiency in the construction sector.

Publish Date : 12 June 2024 06:07 AM

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