Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane project

PC finds cost too high as RHD turns out to be extravagant

FE Report | Published: June 20, 2018 10:11:33 | Updated: June 20, 2018 19:44:34


The Planning Commission (PC) has not endorsed the Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane road upgrades project due to its higher cost estimation, officials said.

The project evaluation committee of the PC has formed a body, headed by its chief, to examine the cost and rationalise it, the officials said.

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) has taken up two separate projects -- one for acquisition of land and another for road upgrades -- at a cost of Tk 156.87 billion.

In a meeting held last week, the committee withheld the approval for the highway upgrades project.

The committee, however, approved the land acquisition project, costing Tk 42.75 billion.

The Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane upgrades project is estimated to cost Tk 114.12 billion.

"In our observation, the RHD's cost estimation is high for the road construction work," a committee member said.

"So we have sent it back and formed a committee to assess the cost and bring the cost down to a rational level," the member told the FE.

The RHD upgraded the 192-kilometre Dhaka-Chattogram four-lane project at a cost of Tk 38.17 billion.

Besides, the department spent Tk 1.81 billion for constructing a 660-metre-long and 24.62-metre wide flyover at Mohipal, Feni on the Dhaka- Chattogram highway.

A senior commission official said the RHD has proposed some components the cost of which has escalated the overall cost of the project.

For example, he said the RHD has proposed Tk 307.1 million for purchasing cars and furniture, Tk 2.58 billion for local and foreign consultants, and Tk 3.45 billion for staff salary and remuneration.

It has also proposed spending of Tk 13.50 billion for 27,604,558 cubic metres of earth work, Tk 9.19 billion for training/study tour programme and Tk 6.50 billion for sign-signal, road-side facilities, incidental cost and day-work.

According to the development project proposal (DPP), the RHD has earmarked Tk 4.41 billion for price adjustment, Tk 1.12 billion (1.0 per cent) for price contingency and Tk 1.12 billion (1.0 per cent) for the physical contingency components.

The RHD has proposed the 214.44 kilometre-long road upgrades completion deadline by December 2022.

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