Nepal's Ambitious Federal Parliament Building Project Grapples with Delays

Nepal's Ambitious Federal Parliament Building Project Grapples with Delays

The prospect of convening the upcoming session of Nepal's parliament in the modern, cutting-edge Federal Parliament building seems to be diminishing rapidly. Despite the initial excitement from both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the National Assembly, the construction of the building has been hampered by numerous setbacks, casting doubt on the location for the impending session.

The project, launched with an ambitious completion target of October 2023, has fallen far behind schedule. Multiple deadline extensions have failed to address the root causes of the delays, and discussions are currently underway for yet another postponement. As of April 2024, the project remains unfinished, casting a shadow over the hopes of holding the next parliamentary session within its grand halls.

While some progress is evident, with Project Director Machakaji Maharjan reporting a 79% physical completion rate, significant hurdles remain. The project encompasses the construction of 12 buildings within the complex, including the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. Although roofing work on all these structures is complete, other crucial aspects lag behind.

A critical challenge lies in the limited workforce. Maharjan acknowledges the need for a substantial increase in manpower, currently at a meager 250 workers. He claims to have pressed the builders to mobilize more personnel, but these requests have yet to be fulfilled. This limited workforce significantly hampers the pace of construction.

The complexity increases due to the separate contract for interior decoration, furniture, and security systems. Despite spending 69% of the total budget, this crucial aspect is still incomplete. The Federal Parliament Secretariat, which oversees the building's administration, expresses worries about its usability. Ekram Giri, the spokesperson, highlights that having a finished assembly hall is insufficient. The complete functionality depends on finishing the entire infrastructure, which includes installing necessary technology and equipment.

With the monsoon season fast approaching, estimates suggest that roof construction might be completed before the rains arrive. However, a definitive timeline for the building's complete functionality remains elusive. The Parliament Secretariat is now forced to explore alternative venues for the upcoming session, potentially delaying the much-anticipated move to the new Parliament building.

This setback highlights the challenges Nepal faces in implementing large-scale infrastructure projects. The delays not only disrupt parliamentary proceedings but also raise questions about project management and resource allocation. As Nepal strives to achieve its development goals, ensuring the timely completion of critical infrastructure projects remains a persistent hurdle.

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