Built three years ago, Forest Department building still to be opened

Built three years ago, Forest Department building still to be opened

The Interpretation Centre building lies locked at Nagrota Surian near the Pong Lake in Kangra district. Tribune photo

Rajiv Mahajan

Nurpur, November 20

A five-storey Interpretation Centre of the Forest Department near the Pong Lake was built at Nagrota Surian over three years ago but the contractor has kept it locked.

In 2015, previous Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had laid the foundation stone of the building of the wildlife wing and its construction was to be completed within two years.

The Forest Department had awarded the tender for the construction of the building to a Palampur-based contractor at an estimated cost of Rs 1.61 crore. The construction work started in 2016 and was completed in March 2018. Meanwhile, the department sought some deviation in the ongoing construction with an additional cost of Rs 1 crore.

The contractor, whose payment of around Rs 92 lakh is pending with the department, has kept the centre locked and hasn’t handed over its possession to the department. As a result, the building is yet to be thrown open even after its completion over three years ago.

Tushan Goyal, building contractor, says that the possession of the building will be handed over to the department only after it clears his dues.

The Interpretation Centre has been built with a view to promoting tourism activities in the Pong Lake. It comprises a rest house, conference hall, dormitory and a parking lot. The complex has been lying idle for years.

Rahul Rohane, Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife) Hamirpur, says that the contractor is still to complete some works in the building. “Since the contractor has opted for arbitration, the outstanding payment will be released to him only after the decision of the arbitrator,” he said.

Contractor yet to hand over possession

  • The Forest Department had awarded the tender for the construction of the building to a Palampur-based contractor at an estimated cost of Rs1.61 crore.
  • The contractor, whose payment of around Rs92 lakh is pending with the department, has kept the centre locked and hasn’t handed over its possession to the department.

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