Con­trac­tor flees af­ter leav­ing road in­com­plete

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

A 3.6km farm road from Lapt­sakha con­nect­ing Nin­du­lakha in­Tad­ing gewog has been left in­com­plete. The vil­lagers say that the con­trac­tor af­ter com­plet­ing the first cut­ting has stopped the work and fled.

M/S Menlha Builders started the work in De­cem­ber 2016 at a cost of Nu 2.6mn. The work was sup­posed to com­plete within six months. How­ever, the road is in a bad state and the vil­lagers are suf­fer­ing. Even the first cut­ting has also not reached the des­ti­na­tion ac­cord­ing to Kar Man Rai, a vil­lager. The con­trac­tor worked only for two months cit­ing a sum­mer break. Lapt­sakha Chi­wog Tshogpa Gun Raj Ghal­ley said that the mat­ter was re­ported to the gewog ad­min­is­tra­tion. The work was later re­sumed af­ter two months. “They af­ter com­plet­ing back-cut­ting of one kilo­me­ter stopped the work and has not re­sumed it,” said the Tshogpa.

The gewog has awarded the work af­ter hav­ing ex­cess bud­get in 2016 to con­nect to Nin­du­lakha vil­lage. The road is ex­pected to ben­e­fit al­most 30 house­holds with 200 plus pop­u­la­tion of Nin­du­lakha and Gang­tokha vil­lages in the chi­wog. “Peo­ple are spread and are will­ing to re­turn if the road is con­nected to their vil­lages,” said Gun Raj Ghal­ley.

Still peo­ple carry their loads to reach their homes. It is more than two hours’ walk from Lapt­sakha to reach Nin­du­lakha. The vil­lagers said that they have been fac­ing prob­lems dur­ing emer­gen­cies. “It is very dif­fi­cult dur­ing emer­gen­cies,” said Kar Man Rai.

“Since they might have fore­casted a loss, the work could have been stopped,” a farmer said.

The vil­lagers cul­ti­vate car­damom and other veg­eta­bles but lack of road ac­cess has been a chal­lenge. “We have to carry our prod­ucts for hours to reach the mar­ket and we are late. We also get de­layed med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties with­out road dur­ing emer­gen­cies,” said Gun Raj Gu­rung, a Nin­du­lakha vil­lager.

Only around 80% of the work is com­plete af­ter as­sess­ment. And ac­tion is ex­pected to be taken against the con­trac­tor. It is al­most a year that the work has been stopped at the site. He said that the con­trac­tor has not re­ported on any­thing which has led him to stop the work.

Mean­while, Tad­ing Gewog Engi­neer Tsh­er­ing Wangchuk said that the road was left in­com­plete due to bud­get deficit. The engi­neer said that the con­trac­tor has com­pleted the work as per the term. The work was ten­dered at Nu 2.7mn which was in­suf­fi­cient. “The work was es­ti­mated to cost more than Nu 10mn. Since there is lim­ited bud­get, we had to limit the bud­get. The con­trac­tor has done his work ac­cord­ing to the draw­ings,” said Tsh­er­ing Wangchuk.

Now, the gewog plans to re­sume per­ma­nent struc­ture work in­clud­ing drainage. Tad­ing Gup Ja­gath Bdr. Ghal­ley said that a team has been de­ployed in­clud­ing gewog en­gi­neers and the Mangmi to as­sess the work progress. The gewog has tried to con­tact the con­trac­tor nu­mer­ous times but could not com­mu­ni­cate. “We will re­port to the dzongkhag and take nec­es­sary ac­tion against the con­trac­tor,” he said. The gewog is plan­ning to ter­mi­nate the con­trac­tor af­ter re­port­ing to the dzongkhag. The con­trac­tor has left some con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als at the vil­lage.

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