A footpath renovated under the supervision of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), that brought months of suffering to locals, is falling apart within weeks of being completed.
According to DSCC Executive Engineer Khondoker Mahbub Alam, the renovation and reconstruction work of a footpath and drains near Malibagh rail gate went on for about a year and cost around Tk 16 crore. The work was completed a few days ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
However, in less than a month, holes have emerged on the footpath, while newly-installed tiles are coming off, this correspondent found upon a recent visit.
Romjan, a staff at a local shop, said, “After a long time, they completed it on 26th of Ramadan, but within a week, big holes have formed by the side of entire footpath.” Tiles on footpath have also broken up in some places, he added.
Locals alleged that workers used only sand instead of cement, and that is why it has not sustained.
Contacted, DSCC engineer Mahbub said, “We know that holes have formed and tiles are breaking up. We have already asked the construction company to repair those.” Asked why it has not been fixed yet, he said workers were not available immediately after Eid, and assured it would be resolved. He also said the contractor’s payment has not been cleared yet.
Mahbub also refuted claims that proper materials were not used during construction. “It takes about seven days for the cement to set, but locals started using the footpath within hours, defying barriers; that has caused the damage.”
MONTHS OF SUFFERING DURING CONSTRUCTION
What makes the seemingly poor work of DSCC even more frustrating for locals is the problems they had to endure while the construction work was going on.
This correspondent has been following the condition of the road since early May. Residents of the area at the time had said the construction caused a range of problems.
Abdul Kader, a local, had said he was facing a water crisis, as drain-water was seeping into the supply water.
Sanwar Mia, a security guard of a building, told The Daily Star, “A number of tenants have left the flats due to water crisis and dust. Moreover, the construction workers kept their materials blocking our entrance.”
A house owner had also said tenants were leaving the area, bothered by the situation.
Shopkeeper Shohag Hossain, meanwhile, had alleged that their sales were being affected to a great extent, as people were avoiding the side of the road. The excessive dust also forced them to sweep the shelves every few hours.
On May 20, DSCC engineer Mahbub had said, “The project is almost complete and the rest will be done soon. I admit we are taking longer than usual, but work under the flyover is causing the hindrance.”
He had also said he spoke to Dhaka Wasa personnel and the water issue was resolved.
However, masons working there had said at the time that it would take another 20 or more days to complete it, which eventually turned out to be the case.