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Bhairahawa Special Economic Zone: Construction work grinds to a halt

BHAIRAHAWA, FEB 10 -

Although the government decided to bring Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in operation through a SEZ Development Committee, a SEZ in Bhairahawa is yet to be completed even 12 years after the construction began. The construction work has come to a complete halt for the last two months.

A group of three companies — Gauri Parbati and Amar Sunaula Khimti JV — had won the bid for constructing administration, service and customs buildings of the Bhairahawa SEZ. The contractor said it was facing financial crisis as the government was not releasing funds on time.

However, project officials say there is no

dearth of money for construction work.

Krishna Prashad Parajuli, an engineer, said land acquisitions and construction of walls and gate, security building, black topping of roads, water tank and sewage, among others, have been completed.  He added construction of administrative, service and customs building, parking lot and public toilets are undergoing. “We plan to continue the work through public-private partnership as the current contractor is unlikely to continue the remaining work,” he said.

One of the contractors Ram Kumar Thapa accused governmental officials of asking bribes. “As their demand was not met, we were not ensured a conducive environment to continue work,” said Thapa. “We have completed the work for which we were paid.” Parajuli, however, denied the charges labeled by the contractors.

The Industry Ministry has planned to hand over the land in the SEZ to industries from the next fiscal year if the construction is completed within this fiscal year. A total of 52 plots have been developed for setting up factories.

Industry Secretary Krishna Gyanwali, who inspected the site a few days ago, expressed commitment to resolve the issue by holding talks with the contractor. The estimated cost of the project spread over 55 bighas of land is Rs 510 million.

Posted on: 2013-02-10 08:56