Lamjung, December 3
Rectification work on a motorable bridge constructed over the Marsyangdi River along the Bhoteodar-Belghari-Bharte road section has begun in Lamjung.
Rectification work, which was supposed to start from November 17, was delayed due to protests from the locals, who demanded alternatives to the bridge be managed before the bridge was put out of commission for necessary rectification.
According to road authorities, a contract has been sealed with Pacific Construction Company to complete the rectification work within four months by constructing an approach road and a diversion in the river close to the existing bridge.
The 60-metre bridge was built at a cost of Rs 55.496 million, exclusive of VAT, by Mahalaxmi, Ashish, Pacific, Machhapuchhre and Uttam JV. Though the bridge was completed and brought into operation, its inauguration and official handover has yet to take place.
“Rectification was required as steel sheets of varying thickness were used in the wrong order in the bridge. Moreover, the bridge had caved in during construction, and instead of using new materials while reconstructing it, the contractor had used the previously used materials, which was wrong,” said Road Division Office Damauli Chief Bishnu Prasad Kafle, explaining the reason why rectification was needed.
Two workers fell into the river in July 2013 and died when the bridge collapsed. Though the company had then constructed the bridge and demanded full payment, the road authorities refused to release the entire amount, citing faulty construction and the company’s failure to complete the project on time.
According to sources, the authorities have withheld the remaining 37.5 million rupees that was to be provided to the company involved in construction of the bridge.
A version of this article appears in print on December 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.