With the water treatment plant (WTP) construction in Pincina missing its third deadline, Samdrupjongkhar town residents might have to continue grappling with water shortage for some more time.

The construction, which started in May 2016 was supposed to complete in October 2017, but the joint venture construction company, Tundi-Tacho, failed to complete it and requested a time extension of six months.

It again missed the April 2018 deadline and after another extension of six and a half months, it again failed the November 15 deadline last year.

The site manager said they could not complete within the time as they have noticed a huge mismatch between the technical parameter and Bill of Quantity (BoQ) where he claimed about 17 components in the BoQ were missing during the first time extension. A bill of quantity is a document prepared by the consultant that provides project-specific measured quantities on the items required.

He said they did not expect it as experts prepared the tender. He added that they have also noticed some components missing in the BoQ during the second time extension, which affected works.

“We have requested thromde for another time extension and submitted a letter stating that we are shutting down the works for the moment,” the site manager said.

The root cause of the problem, he said, was that a team who prepared the civil BoQ did not follow the standard procedure and sit together to finalise the BoQ. It was done through emails.

The site manager also said they have resumed the works after few days as officials from thromde told them to continue.

“There is no proper decision whether the thromde or the work and human settlement ministry will compensate the missing components and the duration for the project is also short,” he said.

The thromde’s project manager, Pema Chokey, said the company’s claim for the missing items and project duration cannot be considered because it has not been raised during the pre-bid meeting and before submission of the bid. “The issue on missing components have been discussed and resolved before giving the second time extension.”

She said the purpose of the pre-bid meeting is to give an opportunity to the bidders to seek clarifications on any issues related to the bid documents including ambiguity, incompleteness and contradictions between various sections and provisions.

She said that the thromde level tender committee denied time extension because it is baseless and they were already given two times extensions.

A project steering committee (PSC) meeting is scheduled for later this week but they will meet the contractors before the meeting and discuss the issues.

Thrompon Karma Sherab Thobgyal said the thromde is just implementing and monitoring the works as the ministry did all the works. “I am not happy because the project couldn’t go well as planned and expected.”

He said the WTP was expected to provide 24 hours drinking water to the residents, the company should complete the project as soon as possible.

The project includes the construction of intake wire, raw water transmission, WTP, clear water reservoir and clear water transmission among others. The total budget for the project is Nu 89M.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar