Contractor’s negligence leaves roads unusable
Nasirakanda's Moharram Ali has to visit the hospital at least twice every month to have his leg checked. It got damaged severely due to a road accident nine months back.
To do this, he has to pass through the road from Nolabaid to Nasirakanda -- which falls under the Kuliarchar upazila of Kishoreganj -- to get to the hospital at Bhairab Bazar. Though it might not sound like much, but the task is of herculean difficulty for Moharram, given the shambolic state of the road.
It all started three years ago, when the road was dug for development works. Today, it is in such bad condition that no vehicle can run on it, including rickshaws, which means Moharram has to travel this part of the road carried on his brother's shoulders.
Resident of the area Mazharul Hoque Mukul said after the road was dug up -- around two and a half feet deep -- to construct a brick cement road, the contractor did nothing but build some culverts on it and just left it like that.
And Nolabaid-Nasirakanda is not the only victim of this. In fact, three more roads under Kuliarchar upazila are in the same condition.
M Sazzad Hossain, upazila engineer of Kuliarchar LGED, said works for a total of seven roads were undertaken as part of the Mymensingh Region Rural Infrastructure Development project under two packages. After a tender, the task was handed over to Ms Dolly Construction
The estimated cost of the project is Tk 7.65 crore, he said.
Among the seven, only three have been completed. Meanwhile only 10 percent of the Nolabaid-Nasirakanda and Matikata-Khidirpur roads were finished, and five percent of the Baghpara-Trimohuni, Birkashim Nagar-Barobari, and Pakkar Matha-Birkashim Nagar roads were completed.
Sazzad said they have sent a proposal to the project director via the executive engineer of Kishoreganj in May, urging him to cancel the contract with Dolly Construction and give them a final notice in this regard.
"It will be good news for the residents if the tender is cancelled. We've understood that this contractor is not going to get the works done," he said.
Contacted, Monowar Hossain, assistant engineer of Ms Dolly Construction, said they cannot finish the works as they are yet to receive the bill in its entirety.
He said they started in December 2018 and completed 100 percent of the works for three roads, but are yet to receive even half of the money.
"We will be able to resume the project once we get the money," he said. "We've already spent around Tk three to four crores on this. We want to finish the project but it depends on getting the money," he claimed.
However, upazila engineer Sazzad said this is not possible as they cannot provide the entire bill to Dolly Construction before the whole project is completed.
Meanwhile, when this correspondent contacted project director Md Nazrul Islam he said they have already cancelled Dolly Construction's contract around a month ago and will now go for a fresh tender after finishing a new assessment and estimation of the roads.