House panel tells Nepal Army to stop fast track contract-awarding

The Public Accounts Committee in the House of Representatives has told the Nepal Army to immediately stop the process it has initiated to award the contract for the construction of bridges and tunnels in the second package of the Kathmandu-Terai fast track.

A meeting of the panel on Thursday issued the directive four days after the army, which is leading the ambitious project, issued a notice seeking the letter of intent from the selected contractor.

Before that, the committee had written the Ministry of Defence three times, urging it to stop the process, after suspecting irregularities.

“After the directive that we repeatedly sent to the Ministry of Defence could not be implemented, we have directly written to the Nepal Army, telling it to stop,” the committee’s secretary Roj Nath Pandey says.

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.