Bamboo twigs instead of iron rods have been used in construction of the toilet of a government primary school in Barguna's Amtali upazila. The wash block has collapsed in three years of construction on Saturday morning when the school authority started its repair works.
The students were luckily saved in the accident as the school remained closed due to coronavirus outbreak.
Locals have demanded exemplary punishment of the contractor who built the wash block with bamboos instead of iron rods.
The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) in Amtali has invited tender in 2015 for construction of the wash block of Baithakata Government Primary School. Md Nurjamal, former convener of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Amtali upazila unit, got the work order of Tk 7 lakh for construction of the toilet.
Sultana Razia, headmaster of the school, said the contractor continued using substandard materials from the beginning. The school authority urged the contractor to stop the work several times but he continued the construction work ignoring their request.
She alleged that the then upazila DPHE engineer Rezaul Karim also helped the contractor to use bamboo twigs instead of rods in construction of the wash block. The construction work was completed in 2017.
Contacted, Rezaul Karim refuted the allegation.
He also said the contractor conducted the construction work as per the schedule.
The headmaster further said that after completion of the work, the contractor sought no-objection certificate from her but she did not give him the certificate due to low quality work. A crack has developed in the three years of construction of the wash block.
The upazila primary education office has allocated Tk 20,000 this year to repair the crack. On Saturday morning, the school authority started the repair work. As soon as worker Sultan Hawladar started the renovation work, the wash block collapsed. Then bamboo twigs came out from the block instead of iron rods. Sultan then informed the headmaster and local people about the matter.
Informed by the headmaster, Upazila Primary Education Officer Mojibur Rahman visited the spot the following day.
Shaon Khalifa, peon of the school, said on information, upazila DPHE engineer Tariqul Islam along with contractor Nurjamal visited the spot. They then removed the bamboo twigs from the site.
Local residents-- Murad Khan, Delwar Hossain and Enamul Khan -- demanded proper investigation into the incident.
Headmaster Sultana Razia said contractor Nurjamal used substandard materials from the beginning. At that time, the contractor treated her badly when she forbade him.
Refuting the allegation, the contractor said he did not use bamboo twigs in construction of the wash block.
He is just a victim of conspiracy, claimed the contractor.
Amtali upazila DPHE engineer Tariqul Islam said proper action will be taken in this regard after investigation.
Amtali Upazila Primary Education Officer Mujibur Rahman said he visited the site. The contractor used bamboos instead of rods in construction of the wash block at the school.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Monira Parveen said strict action will be taken after investigating the matter.