Airport-Gazipur bus rapid transit line

RHD, BBA show poor performance

Munima Sultana | Published: January 12, 2019 10:22:06 | Updated: January 13, 2019 10:24:51


A Bus Rapid Transit route screenshot/Collected

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) have showed poor performance among three agencies involved in developing bus-based mass transit corridor from Airport to Gazipur.

Sources said Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) which is responsible for developing bus depot at Gazipur and local roads and market along the 20.2-kilometre bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor made a significant progress in its work.

According to official record till November, RHD's progress in developing surface road was only 7 per cent while BBA's progress in constructing elevated road was 1.4 per cent.

But the progress in developing local roads and market by LGED was 13.5 per cent. Its prime work to develop bus depot at Gazipur is nearing completion.

Sources said among the agencies, RHD remains 25 per cent behind its schedule to develop dedicated two lanes for introducing bus rapid transit (BRT) line.

LGED started the depot work from February 2016. It is also 1.6 per cent behind the target of the completion of its work.

BBA is yet to start the construction work of the elevated part of the road.

RHD as the leading agency for implementing first BRT project in the city engaged BBA and LGED with the work under Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport (GDSUT) project.

But the work of RHD faced a delay in starting the construction of dedicated 16-km two-lane surface road due to non-cooperation from its Chinese contractor since the signing of the contract on December 01, 2016.

On December 15 in 2017, BBA also signed a contract with another Chinese company to develop 4-km elevated road in between the corridor.

LGED started depot development work within few weeks after signing the contract with a local contractor on February 08, 2016.

However, RHD Project Director M Sanaul Haque said work of the RHD part has been expedited with solution to the problems relating to the site and fund mobilisation.

He said both physical and financial progress of the project jumped to 31 per cent till December 18.

Pilot pile work, load test, service pile, drainage system development etc are now in progress, he added.

Sources said the GDSUT project lacks coordination since its beginning as it is being implemented with the support of three different financiers and three government agencies.

Besides, Gazipur-Airport corridor itself has been beset with multifarious problems including road encroachment by industries, poor drainage system and huge traffic pressure.

"RHD has to face difficulties in managing the agencies involved with utility shifting work along the corridor," said an official preferring not to be named.

He, however, said all these obstacles have already been removed.

RHD has awarded its work to Gezhouba at a cost of Tk 8.5 billion. BBA signed the contract with Jiangsu against its offer of Tk 9.35 billion. LGED's part of road and depot work was given at a cost of Tk 1.5 billion and Tk 325.57 million respectively.

Asian Development Bank is the main financier of the project but AFD and GEF have also a part of funding.

The project cost increased from Tk 24 billion to Tk 42.6 billion due to delay in works and its extension, according to officials.

smunima@yahoo.com

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