Kathmandu [Nepal]: In a blow to China, the Nepal Army (NA) on Thursday suspended Chinese contractors for failing to expedite construction work on the Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Expressway.

It should be noted that the government in its policy and programs last week had mentioned completing the Terai-Kathmandu fast track on time, i.e. by 2081 BS, reported Khabarhub.

The Nepal Army had signed two separate contracts with China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd and Poly Changda Engineering Co Ltd last year for the construction of three tunnels, a few bridges, and a partial road under the Fast Track project.

Both the Chinese companies have been informed about the suspension by sending a letter on May 23. However, the period of suspension has not been mentioned.

The under-construction Kathmandu-Terai Madhes Expressway, under the management of the Army, is a project of national pride and strategic

This road will pass through Khokna of Lalitpur, Kathmandu, and Makwanpur and reach Nijgadh of Bara district.

The project has been mired in controversy since the tenure of retired Chief of Army Staff Purnachandra Thapa, who had selected only two out of 43 companies as qualified contractors for both the phases, reported Khabarhub.

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had on April 1, 2021, directed the NA to stop the contract process, claiming that it did not abide by the financial regulations of the country.

It had instructed to stop the contract process as it lacked transparency as only two companies had entered the pre-qualification process in the first package and only one competed in the second package.

The committee had also instructed the Public Procurement Monitoring Office to remove the obstruction by preparing the necessary documents, guidelines and procedures as soon as possible while proceeding with the contract for the participation of international companies.

However, two days after the directive, the military opened the financial proposals of the two packages selected in the pre- qualification and evaluated them, reported Khabarhub.

The contract agreement process started after the company submitted the financial proposal.

The contract agreement was signed on May 14, 2021, with both the companies so that the construction could be completed within 3 years