Incomplete work makes roads unusable
Scheduled to be completed five months ago, Duwaripara main road in the city's Pallabi is now a stretch of uneven, earthen road as neither the storm drain was fully installed nor the road reconstructed.
Dhaka Water and Sewerage Society (Wasa) appointed three contractors to construct a storm drain of around 100 metres on the road, beginning about 100m away from Pallabi bus stand and stretching up to Duwaripara.
The construction began in April and was scheduled to be completed by the end of May. But it took till mid-August to set up around 80m of the drain. The road was left unattended from then on.
When this correspondent began talking to Wasa officials on the details around the end of September, the contractors hurriedly filled up the remaining portion by October 4, leaving the work unfinished.
No steps were taken against the contractors for the delay.
Rakib, resident of a local apartment building, said with no way out for the past three months, he and his neighbours were forced to rent garages in adjacent areas to keep their vehicles.
“We have to spend an excess Tk 3,000 for every car as the monthly garage rent,” he said.
Some residents of an apartment building recently spent Tk 10,000 to fill up a dug up portion in front of the building with earth to facilitate movement of their cars, he added.
A local pharmacy owner, Ahadul Islam, said sales dropped by 50 percent after the construction began.
Mannan Khan, executive engineer of Wasa, said finalisation of the drain's design and other procedures in the last fiscal took time, hampering a timely start in construction.
The construction continued past the due date as per the advice of the local lawmaker to reduce people's sufferings, he said.
“We asked the contractors to fill the dug up road with earth during Ramadan in August as rains increased the sufferings of the locals,” he said.
Wasa officials said construction would resume from November 12.
One of the contractors said heavy rains this year hampered the construction's completion.
Wasa always gives the work order around the rainy season, which hampers the progress of work. The costs also increase due to the heavy rains, he added.
If the work order was given during the dry season, it would be possible to complete it within a short time, he said.
This is not the only area of the city where Wasa has failed to complete its works before the rainy season.
Another storm drain was supposed to be constructed under the road stretching from Shia Mosque to Ramchandpur canal in Mohammadpur by June.
But Wasa filled the dug up road with earth in July. The work is still incomplete.
Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan said construction in around 1,100m of road in the area was “huge” and the rains caused a temporary filling of the dug up portions with earth.
Contractors have been asked to complete all of Wasa's works within April next year, he added.