Himachal issues notice to Chinese firm on road’s project delay

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government has issued notice to a Chinese firm for missing the deadline in executing two World Bank-funded road projects in the state, a minister said here Tuesday.

The notice was issued to Longjian Road and Bridge Company for its tardy work, said Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Gulab Singh.

He said the notice was issued after a World Bank consultant submitted a report after assessing the work progress.

It seemed the company was not in a position to complete the projects. The government may scrap the (Rs.354 crore) project, he added.

Government officials said since the awarding of the road projects – 80 km Theog-Kotkhai-Rohru stretch in Shimla district and 45 km Mehatpur-Una-Amb stretch in Una district – to the Chinese firm in June 2008 the work had come to a standstill on a number of occasions.
The projects, allocated through global bidding, were originally scheduled to be completed by 2011.

Less than 30 percent of the work on the Theog-Rohru stretch has been completed by the Chinese firm till now, said PWD Chief Engineer Naresh Sharma.

The Chinese firm’s officials blamed the delays on factors beyond their control.
They said the work on the project had come to a standstill in 2009 when the Indian government tightened visa norms for foreigners working in the country. At that time, most of their employees had to return to China.
The bumpy Theog-Kotkhai-Rohru stretch, the lifeline for Shimla’s apple belt which carries out annual business worth Rs.1,000 crore, is a motorists’ nightmare.


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