Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): ‘Van Bhawan’, the state-of-the-art building of the forest department is almost ready for handover but delay in payment of dues on the part of the government is stalling the process.
Waiting for the full & final payment that reportedly amounts to Rs 20 crore, the contractor is keeping the work of giving final touches to the building on hold.
The ‘Van Bhawan’, situated at Tulsi Nagar on Link Road Number 2, has been constructed under the supervision of Madhya Pradesh Tourism and Development Corporation.
The total cost of the building is around Rs 180 crore. While payment of around Rs 154 crore has been made, Rs 20 crore is still pending. As soon as the due amount is paid to the contractor, the process to hand over the building to the forest department would start.
Sources in the tourism department said that till Ashok Varnwal remained the principal secretary of the forest department, the payments were made on a regular basis. After his transfer, finance related issues started to crop up. As the government has not done the payment of around Rs 20 crore, the contractor has put on hold the finishing work of the building which has hundreds of rooms and several meeting halls.
“ When Ashok Varnwal was the Principal Secretary forest, he used to take keen interest in the construction of the ‘Van Bhawan’. He often used to visit the building to see the construction progress. After his transfer, things have started to move at snail’s pace,” said an employee of MP Tourism and Development Corporation on condition of anonymity.
Notably, the corporation is supervising the construction work of the building, the drawing work of which was done by EPCO.
“The further delay in handover will cast a spell on the building as in want of maintenance, it will suffer,” said sources at MP Tourism and Development Corporation.
A senior officer of MP Tourism and Development Corporation said that the building is almost ready for the last five months but in want of clearance of remaining payment, its handover process is getting delayed inordinately.
CM laid foundation stone in 2008, construction started in 2014
The JP Structure Company is undertaking the finishing work while Amronttoss Private Limited did the structure related work. The construction work of the building was started in 2014. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had laid the foundation stone of the building in 2008. The building construction work also got delayed owing to the issues related to shifting of the slums as some slum dwellers have gone to court against the eviction.
Rajiv Shrivastava, Executive Engineer of Madhya Pradesh Tourism and Development Corporation, told Free Press that some payment of the contractor is pending. As soon as the government makes the payment, the building would be ready for handover to the forest department.