Pleads for a nine month extension

Road: Blacktopping of the Tingtibi-Praling stretch on the Tingtibi–Panbang road continues despite the contract period of 15 months expiring on November 1.

Ringdrel Construction Pvt Ltd is still carrying out the works at different points of this stretch under a liquidity damage (LD) period. The contractor has not been able to start blacktopping work although they have already completed some wall constructions and laid some hume pipes.

The Tingtibi-Goling bypass remains blocked with multiple landslides that occurred during the last monsoon while the remaining stretch till Praling also remains in poor condition.

Department of Roads (DoR) chief engineer of the Tingtibi regional office, Karma Dorji, said the contractor’s overall work progress is poor and only about five percent has been completed despite the contract period having already expired. “The contractor has constructed some walls and laid some hume pipes as of now,” he said.

He added that DoR is soon going to clear the blocks on the 4km bypass and vehicles will not have to go via Yebilaptsa which adds 9km to the journey. The bypass road shortens the trip by 5km.

Ugyen, the site manager of Ringdrel Construction said the company is still continuing works at the site and he is hoping the works and human settlement ministry will provide a time extension. “I actually approached the Tingtibi regional office for time extension of nine months but they said they can’t provide it since my work progress is poor,” he said.

Ugyen attributed the delay to the sale of a Natural Resources Development Corporation Ltd stone crusher that was meant for the work on the Tingitibi-Goling bypass. He said that as a result the contractor faced shortage of gravel.

“Finally, when we bought a crusher and reached the site, the contract period had ended,” he said.

He said numerous roadblocks along this stretch also hampered work progress. “Roadblocks along the Tingtibi-Praling bypass cut us off from our main stone quarry,” he said.

DoR has not cleared it yet citing lack of machinery required for the job.

“I need a time extension of nine months now and I pledge to have all the works ready,” he said. He added that he would seek help from other contractors if required.

Meanwhile, chief engineer Karma Dorji said he will soon be presenting the work progress to the ministry and the tender committee will decide the next course of action.

Residents of Tingtibi said that they would not have to hear the sounds of heavy lories if the bypass road is through. Other people using the road also said that it is never getting better and they are also unaware of what is going on between the DoR and the contractor.

Nima Wangdi | Tingtibi