The Border Roads Organisation has stopped awarding new tenders and contracts to Mirsons Construction Pvt. Ltd because of a 10-year delay over the construction of a bridge across Jhelum river along Sopore Bypass in Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Srinagar-based company was awarded the contract for the construction of the 216-metre long bridge in March 2004 but till date the project remains incomplete. The scheduled date of completion was March 2008.
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Krishanpal Gurjar, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on August 8, 2014, attributed the project delay to law and order problems in the Kashmir Valley, particularly in Sopore town, unfavourable working seasons and poor performance of the contractor, Mirsons Construction Pvt. Ltd.
“However, after constant pursuance by Border Roads Organisation, the contractor has accelerated the progress of work at site. At present, 90 per cent of the work has been completed. Show cause notices and warnings have been issued to the contractor by BRO from time to time, as per conditions stipulated in the contract,” the minister observed. “Further, the department has taken a serious note of the slow performance of the contractor and further award of tenders and contracts to the firm has been stopped.”
Border Road Organisation has since revised the completion target of the bridge to March 2015 provided law and order conditions in Sopore town remain “favourable” for construction work at the site.
According to BRO, the project was sanctioned in July 2002 and awarded to Mirsons Construction Pvt. Ltd for a contract value of Rs. 7.86 crore. As per the contractual document, the date of commencement of work was April 1, 2004, and the date of completion was March 31, 2008.
Unlike the minister, however, Border Road Organisation attributed the non-completion of the bridge to an earthquake of severe intensity that rocked Kashmir in October 2005, delay over the decision to approve the proposal for additional shore span, non-progress of work due to unprecedented floods and law and order situation in 2008-09 and 2009-10, tilt and shift in the bridge, unrest in 2010 and snowfall in the area for six months a year.