Sanaul Haque, project director of Gazipur-airport Bus Rapid Transit, has sent a rejoinder to The Daily Star report headlined “Airport-Gazipur BRT Line: Cost doubles, 20pc progress in 6 years” published on August 26.
The rejoinder says the report was “misleading” and its claim that “six years later, only 20 percent of the job has been completed” might create “false impression” about the project's progress.
It then justifies the delay by saying that the bidding process and detailed design process were lengthy and there was delay in awarding the construction work.
“The increase in the project cost was mainly due to the increase in the scope of the project as per the detailed design and not for delay in project implementation,” it read.
Lion's share of the BRT project cost is being utilised for developing other traffic facilities “not directly associated with the BRT system”, the rejoinder read.
The rejoinder argues that the BRT scheme was the first of its kind in the country and it was a complex project and denied that institutional inexperience and unplanned urbanisation were causes for delays.
Our report was based on information obtained from Project Director Sanaul Haque himself during an interview, official website information, background information, official documents, ground investigations and opinions of relevant experts.
Sanaul Haque has been duly quoted in the report with adequate response on how the cost escalated and why the project suffered delays and the clarification provided in the rejoinder is repletion of what has been written in the report.
The rejoinder does not contradict any specific information provided in the report. It is solely concerned over what the impact of the report would be but it does not specify what “false impression” the report would create, why and how.
Implementation process of this section of the BRT began in early 2011. Officially, this BRT service was supposed to be in place in four years by December 2016. The deadline was first extended until December this year and yet another revision of deadline until mid-2020 is underway.
Roads and Highways Department prepared its final feasibility report and preliminary design in May 2011. It means, people have already waited for nearly eight years for this mass transportation service and it still looks far from reality.
We stand by our report.