Locals Furious About Low-Grade Construction Materials Used In Bridge

Substandard materials have been found to be used in the construction of motorable bridge over Thotnekhola River in Okhaldhunga. The construction company allegedly took advantage of the prevailing prohibitory order and used low-quality sand mixed with soil while laying the foundation for the bridge which connects Ward No. 4 of Siddhicharan Municipality with Ward No. 8 of Chishankhugadhi Rural Municipality.
The locals complained that the contractor did not start work on the bridge for a long time and when it finally did, it began using inferior construction materials. “The contractors are using sand mixed with mud to prepare the concrete mixture, taking advantage of the fact that the authorities have not been able to properly monitor their work due to the present restrictions,” claimed local Krishna Bhujel.
Chief of the Division Road Office of Harkapur, Okhaldhunga Arun Kumar Lal Karna said that technicians had been deployed to investigate complaints of the usage of low quality sand and unevenly sized ballast stones. “We have instructed the company to wash the sand and ballast properly before using,” he said.
The contract for the bridge, which was awarded to Khampache Sherpa Construction Service on April 19, 2019, expired last April. Yet, only 30 per cent of the work has been completed till date.
Seeing the bridge in a state of limbo, the District Administration Office categorised it as a ‘sick project’ in January and warned the contractor to begin work or face action. The company began work only after that, locals told The Rising Nepal. Work has also not moved forward on the other two bridges being built by the construction company over Thotnekhola.