Thursday, 23 May, 2024

Builder’s poor performance likely to delay Dharahara project


By Binu Shrestha

Kathmandu, Mar. 14: Poor performance of project manager of the Dharahara project contractor has been blamed for the delay in the overall reconstruction process in the Dharahara project site.
The construction process of other structures like triple basement underground, four storey museum, roof top garden and other works has not been moving ahead at the desired pace, stated National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
Construction of the Dharahara is moving ahead keeping it in central point but overall reconstruction performance has not been moving ahead as was expected, said Raju Man Manandhar, an expert of the NRA.
The construction of the ninth floor of the 22-storey Dharahara has completed in 17 months.
The tower construction process had begun on October 7, 2018 after Nepal-China joint venture companies won the contract for reconstruction of the iconic tower at Rs. 3.48 billion.
In the beginning phase, the much-awaited project has been delayed by nine months due to the contractor. Construction of the 10th storey had to be completed by July, 2019, he said.
The construction of the triple basement underground parking has recently begun which should have moved in tune with Dharahara construction.
“The mission of the project is to complete all proposed structures together, not Dharahara alone. Owing to the weak performance of the project manager, other construction works are not moving ahead in a satisfactory way except for the construction of the tower,” he said.
Demolishing of the southern part of Kathmandu Mall has already begun. Showing the extra works of demolition of Kathmandu Mall, the contractor has been delaying other construction works, he added.
Manandhar said that due to slow work process of the project manager, keeping the remains of the fallen Dharahara inside the glass case is also delayed.
The contractors are using the same manpower to demolish the mall instead of hiring additional manpower for this task to run other construction works smoothly, said Manandhar.
Manandhar said, “We are trying to complete the project in stipulated time, but the contractor is only focusing to find an excuse to add project deadline. As per the set deadline, the project should complete on October 6, 2020.”
Shyam Shrestha, project manager of GIETC- Raman JV Company, however stated that construction of the tower would be completed within deadline.
“For other construction works of the project, the deadline must be extended,” Shrestha said.
The project has begun with the construction of Dharahara in around 5 to 6 ropanis of land, now it has been extended in 42.2 ropanis of land after adding the Department of Nepal Rastra Bank’s Mint and the southern part of Kathmandu Mall in the project, he said.
“We are trying to move other construction works in a parallel way even after the NRA added the work in the last phase,” Shrestha said.
He said had the NRA provided the added works in the beginning phase, they would have moved working process as per the work load.
“Demolishing process of Kathmandu Mall is in the beginning phase, and we have to shift the heavy machines to Nepal Rastra Bank Taskar Department and other places from the site,” he said.
He said that many works were still left to done, but they had only six months to complete it.
“We are trying to complete it within deadline from our side. But six months will not be sufficient to complete all the works,” he added.
About 38 per cent physical work and 29 per cent financial tasks have been completed in the project.
According to Shrestha, in recent days, around 250 Nepalis and Indian workers are working on the project.
“We are going to increase the work force to 500 to 600 to move all works in a parallel way,” said Shrestha.
The GIETC-Raman JV Company is building the Dharhara tower that will have 22 storey from inside and 11 storey from outside.
The new Dharahara will be the first model structure in Nepal. The height of new Dharahara will be 79.2 metres including the dome and pinnacle.
Bhimsen Thapa, the first Prime Minister of modern Nepal, had built the tower in 1832. The 9-storey structure had 213 steps in its spiral staircase to the top and a balcony on the seventh storey.
The Dharahara, also known as Bhimsen Stambha, collapsed in the 2015 quake.