Kathmandu-Tarai expressway in Nepal to face further delay

The completion of Nepal’s ambitious Kathmandu-Tarai expressway is likely to face further delay as the parliament’s Public Account Committee ordered the scrapping of the bidding process for the second phase of construction, reported Kathmandu Post. 

Apr 02, 2021
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The completion of Nepal’s ambitious Kathmandu-Tarai expressway is likely to face further delay as the parliament’s Public Account Committee ordered the scrapping of the bidding process for the second phase of construction, reported Kathmandu Post. 

The committee recommended the Nepali Army, which is executing the project, scrapping the bidding process as it found “serious procedural flaws” in the process. 

“The committee’s study has found a serious breach of the Public Procurement Act and its regulation in the pre-qualification of construction companies for the second phase,” Roj Nath Pandey, secretary for the parliamentary committee, was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

“The committee has directed the scrapping of the entire process and starting a new one,” he said. 

“We have fully adhered to the Public Procurement Act and its regulations. We can make further comments only after receiving the letter from the House committee,” Brigadier General Santosh Ballave Poudyal, the spokesperson for the Nepal Army, was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

The rules say that more than one company must be shortlisted in the pre-qualification phase while, in reality, the army had shortlisted just one company- a violation of the Public Procurement Act-2015. 

Under the project, 86 bridges and 6.415 kilometers of tunnels are planned for construction. 

The $1.8 billion project, scheduled to be completed by 2024, has already seen many delays leading to over 50 percent cost escalation so far. 

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