At the friday NA question answer session opposition member Yeshey Zimba questioned the government on when the delayed Dalbari-Lhamoizingkha road would be completed, the cost implications and compensation to contractors.
“The case with one of the construction companies is still unresolved and it might take 2 or more years from now,” the opposition member said.
He said that while cancelling the contract, the government failed to realise the inevitable cost escalation and benefits for the people. “Dagana is recognized as one of the most remote parts of the country due to connectivity issue,” Yeshey Zimba pointed out.
The 81km road construction project was divided into three packages and tendered for international competitive bidding (ICB) and awarded in September 2014, with km ranging from 20 to 31 and bid ranging from Nu 354.88m to Nu 415m to three bidders.
However, one of the bidders, Jaiprakash Associates, filed a complaint with ACC a month after the contract was awarded saying the award was unfair since it was the lowest bidder. ACC then provided two options for the government; either to re-evaluate the tender or revoke the contract and retender. Retendering was chosen.
Work and Human Settlement minister Dorji Choden explained that cancellation of the contract was on the order of ACC.
“Since funding was 50-50 between the government and Netherlands, time was taken due to rectification and changes made in construction policy before retendering the construction process,” the minister said. “Previously the tender was done as per the international procurement policy which is now changed to national procurement.”
The minister said that construction has already started with works awarded to total four contractors as per the national procurement policy. 10 km each were assigned to two contractors and 15km each to another two. “We have assigned four instead of two because we want the construction to be completed as soon as possible,” she said.
Apart from extension of duration for the construction, she said the budget still remains constant. “There isn’t any extension on budget where the total cost for the construction of road costs Nu. 1,220 million, which is within the initial budget estimation,” Lyonpo Dorji Choden said.
Meanwhile, she assured that the road would be completed in another year and half. “The two packages will finish by the end of 2018 and another will be completed as 2019 begins,” she said.