The builder of the under-construction sports stadium at Dudhauli Municipality-9, Bhoragachhi is allegedly using substandard materials. Construction had started with the Bagmati provincial government’s investment of Rs. 694.92 million. Ramkumar Adhikari Danuwar, the Bhoragacchi ward chief, accuses Pines Construction, the company responsible for the stadium and related infrastructures, of using substandard cement, bricks, mortar, sand and other construction materials. “Despite repeated requests from the municipality to use only quality cement, bricks and sand, the construction company has continued working with substandard materials,” he informs.
A complaint has been lodged at the District Administration Office alleging negligence in stadium construction. Danuwar says the company had brushed aside the complaint. The contract agreement stipulates that the 120 square feet stadium be built with ‘number one’ standard bricks and OPC cement.
A monitoring team including the then Chief District Officer of Sindhuli, Janardan Gautam, had demolished a stadium wall after finding that its bricks were of ‘number three’ standard, the cement was of poor quality, and sand was mixed with untreated soil.
Purna Bahadur Bista, chairman of Dudhauli Town Development Committee, informs that the company has continued building using the same bricks, sand and cement even though the CDO Gautam, Bagmati province MP Rajan Dahal and other stakeholders have admonished the company against it. The risk is that, adds Bista, “the stadium will not only drain state coffers but could also lead to a serious accident in the future”.
The construction company has also broken the mandatory requirement of having an information board at the construction site. Such a board includes information on the masterplan as well as estimated cost, date of commencement, and completion date. There is no such information board at the stadium’s site.
Locals are outraged that instead of using OPC cement for pillars and beams, the company is using generic cement. And, instead of grit from the crushers, the company is employing the stuff directly lifted from the river.
Mayor of Dudhauli Municipality Ghanshyam Raut says he has time and again warned the company. “We’ve stopped construction before and asked them to start using quality materials but whenever there’s a slack in monitoring, they go back to their old ways. We are taking this seriously now,” Raut says.
Bal Krishna Shrestha, an engineer working at the construction site, claims that although the bricks the company sourced were initially of low quality, there has been no issues with other construction materials. “It is true that some ‘number two’ bricks were used in the beginning but we returned them as soon as we found out about their low quality. After that, we make sure we use construction materials like iron rods, cement and bricks only after doing requisite lab tests,” Shrestha says. “Also, we have used both OPC and PPC cements wherever required.”
Also rebutting these accusations, Bharat Bhadaur Karki, CEO of the construction company, claims no construction material being used in the stadium is substandard. “It’s a protest without a cause. The ones protesting have nothing else to do as they are without jobs,” he says.