The deadline for implementing the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway project has already been extended for four times since the initial December-2012 deadline, but two of the firms concerned fear it will take at least two more years to complete the gigantic project.
Officials of the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway project confirmed that a lot of work is yet to be done in several packages of the project, which has turn into a bane for those who have to shuttle between Dhaka and Chittagong frequently.
Project assistant project director Arun Alo Chakma noted that Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation which was hired for seven packages out 10 in the project, have not yet started the construction works on some major structures, including three 463-metre bridges, two 33-metre underpasses, 33 steel footbridges, 61 bus stoppages, according to sources.
The firm has completed only 55 per cent of the construction work on 17.42-kilometre road between Kumira and Panthachila (package 9), and only 28 percent of the construction of 18-kilometre road between Panthachila and Mirsarai (package-8), he said.
Besides, two local firms hired for three packages under the project – Reza Construction for two packages and Taher Brothers for one package – have also failed to accomplish about 40 percent of their works, he added. Sources also complained that the construction of the road between Feni and Daudkandi is also moving very slowly as Sinohydro Corporation has not yet started land-filling in most of the places within this distance.
Assistant project director Arun Alo Chakma said that the firms must complete their works by December this year, or else, the higher authorities will take necessary actions against them. Assistant project director of Reza Construction, Engineer M Shakhawat Hossain claimed they have completed about 65 per cent of the works for the two packages under the project. He said it is possible for his firm to complete the rest of the work by the year-end.
Deputy project director of Taher Brothers, Engineer FR Ferdous Hasan said they will be able to finish their part of the work by the deadline of December this year.
“The work was severely disrupted by political instability and frequent rainfall over the last year. We’ve finished about 60 per cent of the work this time,” he said, adding that he is confident about finishing the rest of the work by the current deadline.
Ferdous Hasan also noted that the two local firms are only implementing three of the 10 packages of the project, and that the completion of the whole project largely depends on the progress of works by the foreign firm, Sinohydro Corporation.
Although the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway project was approved in 2006 when the cost was estimated at Tk 2,382 crore, the implementation of the project started in 2010.
The project cost was revised and fixed at Tk 3,190 crore, and the deadline for completion set on December, 2012, at the time of the implementation in 2010.
Earlier, on Mar 10 last year, the then, and also the current, Communications Minister, Obaidul Quader, affirmed and reaffirmed the media that the work on the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway project will complete by December next. –UNB, Chittagong