The Development and Technology Committee of the parliament has instructed the government to punish Pappu Construction that is building the bridge over Bagmati river in Tinkune, Kathmandu.
The committee has concluded that the company, which continued construction ignoring the instruction to stop it, should be punished.
A team led by Chairman Kalyani Kumari Khadka and including members of the committee, and experts among others had conducted field study of the bridge on May 16 and taken information from the commoners, officials of bridge division and chief of road expansion project in Kathmandu Valley.
The team found that the company contracted to build 16 piles each 29.5 meters deep had built one pile that was only 16.5 meters deep, and two of the piles had cracked. The project had then instructed the company to continue construction only after resolving the problems in piles. The parliamentary committee has concluded that the company has started preparations for putting concrete slabs after constructing sub-structure of the bridge ignoring the instruction.
The project had instructed the company to redesign the bridge, and sent the amended design prepared by the company to the Institute of Engineering (IOE) for evaluation after not finding it satisfactory. The project has yet to receive the improved design from the IOE.
The committee had also instructed the company to immediately remove the supporting iron frames used during the construction after the locals complained that the frames caused inundation in the surrounding areas.
The government in November 2018 had stopped the controversial Pappu Construction from bidding for new public projects. The Public Procurement Monitoring Office under the Prime Minister’s Office issuing a public notice had stopped the company from bidding for any new project.
Pappu Construction is notorious for winning contracts for public construction across the country and not completing them in time, and doing substandard work even when the projects are completed.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has also lodged a corruption case against former chairman of Pappu Construction and lawmaker Hari Narayan Rauniyar in early October.
The CIAA lodged the corruption case against the Socialist Party Nepal lawmaker, his son Sumit Rauniyar and others at the Special Court after its investigation on complaints that the company used substandard materials in construction of the bridge over Babai river in Bardiya, the bridge looked tilted right from the time of construction and was destroyed immediately after inauguration found them to be guilty.