Kathmandu, Feb. 11 -- Local contractors associated with the Melamchi drinking water project have blamed the government for the national pride project debacle.

A group of sub-contractors associated with the main contractor of the project-Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna-said on Sunday that government's failure to abide by the terms of the contract led to abandoning of the project by the Italian builder and ultimately termination of the contract.

The local contractors have said the ongoing fiasco surrounding the project, which was near compulsion, could have been averted had the government and its officials acted as per the contract and paid the amount to the CMC as decided by the Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB).

"They had a...