The contractor concerned has withdrawn the final bill but construction work of a culvert in front of the circuit house in Habiganj municipality still remains incomplete, which is a gross violation of public procurement policy.
An official of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in Habiganj said they cleared the bill after discussing with the district administration.
According to the law, the dues will be paid upon completion of work.
During a visit to the area recently, this correspondent found that the construction work was going on.
According to the sources at RHD, as there is no proper drainage system, Habiganj Sadar Hospital, local police station, police superintendent office, zilla parishad office and circuit house get submerged in water just after a little rain in the town.
To resolve the problem, the Roads and Highway Department in the district decided to build a cross-culvert in front of the circuit house in the town. In February this year, construction firm Md Enamul Haque Pvt. Ltd from Dhaka got the work order of around Tk 43 lakh 50 thousand for construction of the culvert. RHD set a deadline of June 25 this year to complete the construction work.
Interesting thing is that the bill was cleared on June 26 but 40 percent work still remains incomplete, said the sources.
Saddam Mia, a resident of Hospital area, said commuters on the important road have been experiencing untold sufferings due to slow progress of the culvert work.
Shiddek Mia, 45, a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver in the area, said they face immense problem while crossing the area.
Tofazzal Sohel, general secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon, Habiganj unit, most of the areas in Habiganj town are submerged under rainwater during monsoon. To overcome the situation, the authorities concerned have taken this project.
But the construction work is too slow and the road has now become hazardous for all, he said, adding that in this situation, drivers also charge extra three times fare.
There have also been allegation of substandard equipment being used in the construction work, said the environmental activist.
Shamim Ahmed, another resident of Hospital area, said the construction work of the culvert was going on for the last few months. Delay in the construction work mounts sufferings on thousands of townspeople.
Contractor Zahirul Islam Ruhel said construction work of the culvert was being delayed due to coronavirus outbreak. The work would be completed very soon.
Contacted, Mizanur Rahman Mizan, mayor of Habiganj municipality, said "I don't know anything about withdrawal of the bill."
Habiganj RHD Executive Engineer Md Sajib Ahmed said the bill was cleared after discussing with the district administration.
Deputy Commissioner Md Kamrul Islam said the issue of withdrawal of the final bill is an internal matter of the Roads and Highways Department.