October 21: Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has scrapped the agreement with Smart Telecom to expand optical fibre in Karnali and Sudur Paschim provinces. NTA terminated the contract on October 17 citing unsatisfactory work performance by Smart Telecom. Smart Telecom was awarded the contract worth Rs 3.94 billion on July 18, 2017. The company was supposed to complete the project within two years but failed to complete the work within the extended deadline.
Earlier, NTA had terminated the contract with United Telecom to lay the optical fibre in provinces 4 and 5 some eight months ago. With this, expansion of optical fibre in the four provinces has become uncertain.
After Smart Telecom failed to complete the project on time, NTA had extended the deadline by three months. However, the company did not comply within the extended deadline as well, leading to the termination of the contract.
NTA’s Spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal said that the telecom governing body of Nepal decided to scrap the agreement with Smart Telecom due to lack of visible progress in the project. According to him, the company was sent an official letter in this regard on Sunday, October 20.
NTA has sought the progress details of the project so far.
Smart Telecom has received Rs 600 million in advance for the project. NTA, meanwhile has written to the concerned bank to freeze the bank guarantee kept by the company.