The Ministry of Water Supply has continued discussions on the option of calling the Italian contractor CMC back to work on the Melamchi Water Supply Project though the contract with it has been annulled.
The Ministry and the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board have initiated discussions with the CMC itself in a bid to call it back to work as calling for a new bidding for completing the remaining works would be costly and it would take longer time for construction.
The Ministry has kept the CMC on its first priority also because there is the legal provision that the decision of annulment of the contract can be withdrawn in the possibility of the CMC company itself returning to work whereas a new call for tender has to be made while giving the responsibility of carrying out the remaining works of the project to a new company.
The Board had decided to break the contract as the deposit amount of Rs 2.65 billion could not be seized if the letter of contract annulment did not reach the CMC head office by February 10.
Board’s executive director Surya Raj Kandel said that the Board reached the decision to annul the contract with CMC only to gain upper hand from the legal aspect. He added that the annulment of the contract has paved the way for refund of the deposit amount in the Nepal Government’s account.
Kandel, however, said that consultations were continuing on the alternative of bringing the CMC itself back to work.
Officials of the Ministry and the Board are currently in Singapore for consultation with representatives of CMC head office, on the orders of Minister for Water Supply, Bina Magar. Kandel said that intensive discussions are on in Singapore between the representatives of both sides for calling CMC itself back to work by canceling the decision to annul the contract.
The Development Committee and the Finance Committee of the Federal Parliament had drawn the attention of the government before this to complete the works of the Project at the earliest by seeking appropriate option.