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Bamboo for Rod

Probe body finds truth

An investigation committee has found the allegation of substituting iron rods for bamboo sticks in the construction of a government-funded biological research centre in Chuadanga to be true. 

The three-member body headed by Soumen Shaha, director of the biological research wing of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Dhaka, submitted a report to the agricultural affairs ministry yesterday, sources said.

“We have found some irregularities,” said Nirmol Kumar Dey, deputy director of the DAE, Chuadanga.

He is one of the investigators who visited the construction site on Saturday. They checked the construction schedule and examined materials used, different parts of the building, its walls and rooftop.

“We found irregularities in the construction of outside louvers [vertical structures at equal intervals creating a pattern to enhance the building's beauty],” Nirmol said.

The committee in its report recommended demolishing all 36 louvers built around the two-storey building and reconstructing them, said another member of the committee wishing not to be named. 

It also suggested suspending the construction firm, Joy Construction Ltd of Dhaka. 

The DAE of Chuadanga last year got a fund of Tk 2.41 crore to build a research centre and lab in Darshana under Damurhuda upazila.

So far, 65 percent work has been done. The building was scheduled to be handed over to the DAE in June.

On Thursday, some local youths came to know about some gross anomalies in the work.

Workers were then forced to break a louver only to reveal bamboo sticks, prompting the authority to stop the work. 

Meanwhile, two other committees -- one by the district administration and another by the ministry -- were formed to look into the matter.