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MoPIT Recommends Blacklisting Chinese Construction Company for Project Delays and Quality Issues

Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation/File Photo for Representation
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KATHMANDU: The Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation (MoPI&T) in Koshi Province, Nepal, has recommended placing the Chinese company ‘Chongqing International Construction Corporation’ (CICO) and its Nepali partner ‘Kanchharam Construction’ (KC) on a blacklist.

CICO and KC are currently involved in the construction of road sections Korsane-Kerabari-Singhdev (KKS) and Laxmimarga-Dengihat-Babiyabirta-Amahi (LDBA) in Morang District of Koshi under the Rural Connectivity Improvement Project (RCIP), funded by the Asian Development Bank. The companies were awarded a contract worth NPR 70 Crore for the construction of these road sections over two years.

However, a ground inspection conducted by Senior Engineer Shaligram Devkota revealed that after five years, only 54 percent of the work has been completed by both companies. The quality of construction was also found to be dissatisfactory and substandard, contrary to the agreed specifications.

Similar complaints were reported against the Chinese company ‘China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd (CSCE)’ in the Siddhababa Tunnel (ST) project in Butwal in December 2023.

Chinese companies involved in various projects in Nepal, especially in road construction, have been accused of delaying projects to inflate costs. Some Chinese officials associated with these projects have also been implicated in illegal activities such as gold and narcotic smuggling, with allegations of ties to China’s intelligence agency, MSS.

Local Nepali authorities facing pressure from the Kathmandu-based Chinese Embassy have struggled to take action against such companies. This pressure often results in permissions being granted for these Chinese companies to continue operations.

In other countries, including Sri Lanka and African nations, many Chinese companies have faced bans due to poor quality of work and cost escalation in projects.

Critics allege that the current political leadership in Nepal is benefiting financially from Chinese companies and compromising Nepal’s interests to favor these companies. They warn that such issues may intensify once the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Implementation Plan is signed.