Authorities found lapses including excess payment

Dechen Dolkar 

Three years after its completion, the semi-automated parking management system (PMS) at the multi-level car parking (MLCP) in Phuentsholing town was damaged with some items missing, it was found.

The Phuentsholing Thromde installed the semi-automatic PMS at the parking facility, spending Nu 2.4M in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Both residents of the commercial hub and visitors welcomed the new infrastructure – the MLCP. The work was handed over to Phuentsholing Thromde on December 20, 2018.

However, during an investigation in April to June last year, it was observed that the parking management system was unutilised without rendering proper care and custody after investing huge amounts of money. As a result, the PMS was found damaged with some items missing. The investigation found out that the property remained idle, and negligence on the part of thromde management had resulted in serious damage to the property.

Officials from the Thromde mentioned that the properties were fully utilised until December 2020 by the parking operator.

An official said that during the pandemic and with a series of lockdowns in the town, the parking facility was not in operation and some parking spaces on the first floor were converted to the flu clinic which is still used as an outpatient department by the Phuentsholing general hospital. 

The official also said that the management could not do maintenance or supervise the MLCP and its associated components, which led to wear and tear of all the electro-mechanical items during the pandemic. The thromde was also assigned to construct a Covid flu clinic by SC19TF at MLCP, which they said was the intended purpose of MLCP.

Meanwhile, authorities found irregularities amounting to Nu 10.67M in the construction of MLCP. The contract was awarded to Noryang Private Limited with the final payment of Nu 81.3M. Out of the total irregularities, Nu 9.5M was from wrong preparation of bill of quantities (BoQ) leading to extravagant payment.

During the execution, the contractor pointed out the issue to the management and asked for rate analysis stating that works above the plinth have the involvement of more labourers and materials incurring huge costs. The management, after a series of discussions, agreed to give the executed quantities at the analysed rates.

Authorities also found out that the thromde had made an excess payment of Nu 874,687.81 for providing and fixing Thermo Mechanically Treated reinforcement bar and Nu 203,260.91 for providing and laying reinforced cement concrete works.