The Financial Express

Less than 2-km road takes 5 years to build!

| Updated: September 27, 2021 14:14:13

Less than 2-km road takes 5 years to build!

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) has signally failed to finish a 1.85-kilometre road in Bogura in four long years and sought yet another year to do so.

Officials say this failure has not only delayed construction, but the project cost has also escalated by 76 per cent.

The development came as the national road developer has recently sought revision of the project outlay for building the road to Tk 1.85 billion from Tk 1.05 billion bankrolled earlier.

Road transport and bridges ministry earlier extended the project schedule for two years up to June 2021 from the preliminary deadline of June 2019.

According to a Planning Commission (PC) official, the RHD seeks another year until June 2022 for the project styled 'Construction of Bogura city to medical college link road (N519)'.

In 2004, the RHD endeavoured to construct a 2.66km road from Bogura city to the medical college but it only built a 0.81km road, leaving the major part in the lurch.

It claims the current construction work gets delayed for land acquisition and thus cost escalated.

A senior RHD official said they faced massive hurdles in land acquisition for the work for some roadside establishments.

According to the revised development project proposal (RDPP), the land acquisition cost has been doubled.

The value of 2.57 hectares of land was estimated at Tk 815.15 million which has jumped to Tk 1.63 billion in the proposed RDPP.

Besides, flexible pavement construction cost has also been boosted by Tk 7.26 million to Tk 101.57 million.

Meanwhile, a PC official told the FE that the failure to acquire land in time has actually raised the cost.

Had the implementer acquired land just after starting the project in 2017, the overall cost might not rise and people could use the road before 2019, he observed.

"We're surprised that if an authority takes five years to build a 1.85km road," the official questions, "how will they serve the public?"

Another PC official said: "We're strictly scrutinising the RDPP. The project evaluation committee has given some observations as well as directions to recast the RDPP in compliance with those conditions."

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