Nepal Army defies House directive to continue fast track construction

File: Construction works are underway for the Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track.
File: Construction works are underway for the Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track.

Kathmandu, April 25

The Nepal Army has defied a directive of the Public Accounts Committee in the House of Representatives about the construction of the Kathmandu-Terai fast track.

The committee on April 1 had directed the army to cancel the bidding process in the second package of the tunnel and bridge construction under the fast track project after reports of irregularities. However, on Sunday, the army called a notice calling the letter of intent from the contractor for the tunnels and bridges.

Earlier, the army had qualified only one company, Poly Changda Engineering Co Ltd of China, among 21 bidders for the construction work. The company has won a contract of Rs 20.85 billion.

Two days after the House directive, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is also the Minister for Defence looking after the military affairs, had expressed his disagreement over the committee’s conclusion.

Meanwhile, the army says the House directive was for the government and not for the army.

“The Ministry of Defence had asked us about the directive, and we have sent our response back to them. Since the government did not issue any instruction to us to stop the work, we have moved forward the process regularly as per the Public Procurement Act and Regulations,” the army spokesperson Santosh Ballav Poudyal says.

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