Deadline exceeds, public suffering mounts
Although the deadline for the renovation works on a two-kilometre stretch of the central road in Habiganj town has exceeded for five months, the works have yet to be completed, much to the sufferings of the people.
Vehicles are unable to ply smoothly on the road due to digging on various parts of the road resulting in a perennial traffic jam on the road. On the other hand, many are questioning the quality of the work.
According to the Habiganj Roads and Highways Department, the department took the initiative to renovate a 1.9 km stretch of the road starting from the front of court mosque to Chowdhury Bazar with concrete. The tender for the work worth Tk 10 crore 54 lakhs was called on September 10 last year.
The work was awarded to Hasan Techno Builders, Janmabhoomi Construction and Ohiduzzaman Chowdhury. They were given the work order on January 19 this year. The deadline for this work was July 19. But five months into the deadline, the work is yet to be over.
On a recent visit to the area, it was seen that one side of the road from the front of the town hall to the post office had been dug, in which layer of rods was being laid. Vehicles were moving at a snail's pace on the other side of the road, resulting in perennial traffic gridlock. Pedestrians are also suffering due to the movement of cars in the alleyways.
Tofazzal Sohel, the coordinator of Habiganj Sankhubdo Nagorik Andolon, said five months into the deadline, only 60 per cent of the renovation work of the central road of Habiganj town has been completed. The delay was due to lax work.
The contractor did the work sporadically. This has mounted the sufferings of the town dwellers, he added.
Sirajul Islam, a trader at Khwaja Garden, one of the city's popular shopping malls, said that it shouldn't take more than 15 to 20 days to complete the work. But even after months, the contractor could not complete the construction of the road. They are still digging the road. As a result, traders who run small businesses on the side of the road have borne the brunt due to unnecessary delays in road construction work.
A resident of the town, who is also a contractor, said on condition of anonymity that according to the tender, 12 mm rods were supposed to be used for the lower four-inch casting and 30 mm rods for the upper layer. However, this standard was not maintained here.
Joy Prakash, an engineer working on the project, said they had some problems getting their initial bills. That is why the work has been delayed a bit.
"However, we will be able to complete this work within the next two to three weeks," he added.
Habiganj Roads and Highways Department Assistant Engineer Ramzan Ali said that the movement of vehicles and people on the road was kept open while the work was in progress, resulting into a little delay.
He also said that the work is being done following the tender. They have been supervising it, he added.