Himachal cancels road contract with Chinese firm

August 29th, 2012 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 29 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government has cancelled a Rs.228-crore contract with a Chinese firm for delay in executing a World Bank-funded road widening project, Public Works Department Minister Gulab Singh said here Wednesday.

“The work of Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road which was awarded to a Chinese company was terminated Aug 11,” the minister told the state assembly.

He said the reasons for contract termination were inadequate funding of the project and non-mobilisation of resources by the Chinese company — Longjian Road and Bridge Company.

Singh said the contract for the construction of the 81-km-long road in Shimla district was awarded to the company through global bidding. “The construction work began June 5, 2008. As per the agreement, the road was to be completed within 36 months.”

He admitted that there was delay in the project execution.

“In the project’s initial stage there was some delay in getting the land transferred and getting forest clearances. Even the work had come to a complete standstill (in 2009) when the Indian government cancelled visas for the company employees. Most of the employees had to return to China.”

He said the government gave three notices before terminating the contract through the consultant appointed by the World Bank.

“To make the road motorable, the PWD spent Rs.2.5 crore in the past three-four months,” Singh added.

BJP legislator Khushi Ram Balnatah, who raised the issue, said the Theog-Kotkhai-Rohru stretch, the lifeline for Shimla’s apple belt, is in a deplorable state.

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