Trashigang’s dzongkhag tender committee (DTC) terminated project of two contractors for failing to complete the construction works at three different locations on April 11. 

Besides failing to meet the deadlines, the two companies repeatedly failed to attend the meeting called by the DTC. 

The two companies are sister companies. 

Construction works for the new BHU in Merak was awarded to Zhangchong construction on December 8, 2015. The contract period was 18 months. However, the BHU is still under construction.

Merak mangmi, Phurpa, said the dzongkhag administration should take immediate actions for the delay.

“People here have been waiting for the new BHU for almost three years now. We don’t see any progress at the site,” he said. 

Residents of Merak said since the existing BHU is old, it lacks adequate facilities. 

“The place is very small. We have to wait outside if there are more than three patients at a time,” a resident said. “It is difficult to stand outside, especially when you are not well.” 

The construction includes the main BHU and a staff quarters. 

Dzongkhag officials said that apart from the electrical works and window fittings, major works at the main BHU is completed. The construction of the two structures was supposed to be completed on June 18 last year. 

A similar delay was also observed in the construction of 96-bedded boys’ and girls’ hostels at Dungtse Central School in Phongmay and 96-bedded hostel at Bidung Lower Secondary School. 

The contract for the construction of the hostels was awarded to Dechen Construction on December 8, 2015 and December 30, 2015 respectively. The construction works at Dungtse CS was supposed to be completed on June 18 last year. The hostel at Bidung LSS was supposed to be completed on April 8 last year. 

The laying of the roof is yet to be completed for all the three 96-bedded hostels. 

After failing to meet the deadline, DCT wrote to the two contractors, asking them to attend a meeting to discuss the work progress and to present other necessary reports.   

However, neither contractors turned up. 

Officials say the contractors had asked to postpone the meeting three times. 

The initial meeting was scheduled for March 27. Upon the request from the contractors, the meeting date was extended until April 5. On April 4, the DCT received another letter requesting for extension until April 11.   

Trashigang dzongdag, Chekey Gyeltshen, who is also the chairperson of the tender committee, said that there was no progress at the sites and given the series of postponement letters submitted to the committee by the contractors, it only led to the termination of their contracts. 

The DTC, in an earlier letter, had written to the two contractors that failure to attend the meeting on April 11 would lead to the termination of their contracts without further notice. 

On April 11, the committee received another letter asking extension until April 16. This time the contractor cited medical condition for the failure to attend the meeting. 

“The committee has terminated the contract works of the two contractors based on the termination clause of the contract agreement,” the dzongdag said. “We would have to follow the terms and condition of the contract for further actions.”

Dzongkhag administration officials said that the two contractors have been called for the validation of the work done at the three locations on April 26. The valuation would be carried out jointly with engineers from the dzongkhag. 

Only after the valuation of the work, DTC would decide if the remaining works would require re-tendering or be carried out departmentally by the dzongkhag administration. 

 Meanwhile, the proprietor of Zhangchong construction, Leki Wangchuk, said that the delay was because of an issue between the contractor and the labourers. “After taking advance payment, the labourers ran away. In the process of getting those labourers back, the work got delayed.”

He said he could not attend the meeting on April 11 because of medical condition, which required him to rest for a few days. 

He added that the similar issue had also occurred with Dechen Construction at Dungtse CS and Bidung LSS. The proprietor of Dechen Construction did not wish to comment.  

Younten Tshedup | Merak