A contractor in Sarpang has taken the Shongpangkha gewog to court for alleged non-payment of machine hire charges.

Novin Rai said the gewog asked him to deploy his machine to construct the 2.7kms farm road to Gumchula earlier known as Chhar village under Shompangkha gewog.

The road construction contract worth Nu 4.4 million was given to a contractor, Dunhill Construction Company that bid the lowest. The company also had another farm road construction work at the same time. However, the company could not complete the construction and the gewog decided to execute the work and completed it in 2016 benefiting more than 27 households in the village.

Novin Rai was authorised by Dunhill construction to take over the works but the gewog administration was unsatisfied with the work progress.

Shompangkha gup Suk Dhoj Yonzon said, “In spite of the extension we gave the construction company, it failed to complete the works,” he said. “The auditors raised the issue and issued us a memo.”

Suk Dhoj Yonzon said that all dues were cleared when the gewog administration took over the works.

Novin Rai accepted that he has a case to claim from the contractor. The mangmi paid me only Nu 76,980 last year and claimed that he was told that the gewog administration would pay the remaining later on.

“We told him that whatever we owed him, we paid and that now he has to claim from the contractor from whom he took the works,” the gup said.

Novin Rai claims that the gewog office still owes him Nu 37,000. “The mangmi has signed on the log book of the machine for each day of work done,” Novin Rai alleged.

Shompangkha gewog officials reported to the dzongkhag court yesterday. The hearing was deferred as Novin Rai was in Phuentsholing and could not appear in court.

Tshering Palden | Sarpang