After missing two deadlines, Samdrupjongkhar thromde has given a time extension of six and half months to the contractor to complete the construction of the ongoing water treatment plant (WTP).

A joint venture construction company, Tundi-Tacho, i s executing the works worth Nu 89M. The construction, which started in May 2016, was supposed to be completed in October last year but the company failed to complete on time and requested a time extension for six months.

The construction was then scheduled to complete in April this year but the company again missed its deadline.

According to the company’s letter to the Ministry of Work and Human Settlement (MoWHS), they have noticed a huge mismatch between the technical parameter and bill of quantity (BoQ), missing around 17 components in the BoQ, which was not expected as the tender was prepared by experts.

The 17 missing components were chemical building, flash water, clarified water storage tank, chlorine contact tank backwash water collection chamber, sludge sump, a pump chamber for the sump, cable trenching work, transformer fencing and flooring for clear water reservoir among others.

A BoQ is a document prepared by the cost consultant that provides project-specific measured quantities on the items required and contractors tender against the bill stating their price for each item.

“We have learned the root cause of the problem was that a team who prepared the civil BoQ did not follow the standard procedure or taken references of Bhutan schedule of rate,” the letter stated.

As per the letter, of the 17 missing components, the company has executed nine components and the remaining seven components will also be carried out except the chemical building as it has a huge bearing on the financial viability.

The company has requested an additional five months from May 1 to September end to complete the remaining works and as compensation of nine components to the ministry.

Thromde’s assistant engineer and head of the water section, Mani Kumar Rizal, said the contractor has appealed for time extension claiming that there are 17 components missing in the BoQ and was asking for the compensation.

He said that the missing components were already there in the contract and the contractor might not have gone through all the contract documents.

“We assure that there are no missing components and we did not consider anything in this case because all these missing items were covered in one of these documents,” Mani Kumar Rizal said.

He said the time extension was given based on hindrances like occasional strikes, goods and services tax (GST) applied during the procuring of the materials and delaying in the approval process. “It’s not a compensation for the missing components as claimed by the contractor and it will have to carry out all the works with the same budget.”

He said that the current time extension is from May 1 to mid-November.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar