JS body slates irregularities in dev projects
A parliamentary watchdog yesterday came down heavily on the Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD) over irregularities in different development projects, including slow implementation, repeated extensions of deadlines and consequent increase in project costs.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Estimate at a meeting questioned RTHD officials concerned about those irregularities.
The meeting was held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, with ruling Awami League MP Abdus Shahid in the chair.
In most cases, the officials did not respond properly to the allegations of irregularities raised by the parliamentary body, said meeting sources.
The committee later asked the ministry to submit a report to it on the overall issue within the next one month.
The meeting discussed the ongoing projects of Dhaka, Sylhet, Mymensingh and Gopalganj zones of RTHD and the ministry of social welfare.
According to meeting sources, the JS watchdog yesterday mostly discussed the RTHD's ongoing projects.
The committee sought explanations as to why the projects were not implemented on time, why the durations of different projects were increased repeatedly causing increase in project costs.
The parliamentary body was not satisfied with the replies and arguments made by the officials concerned, said the sources.
The officials tried to explain that project deadlines were extended without increasing expenditures.
However, the committee argued that extending the duration without increasing the expenditure is also a kind of irregularity.
A committee member told the meeting that people were being deprived of benefits as projects were not being implemented on time. People were also suffering due to the delay in completion of projects.
Asked about the meeting, Abdus Shahid said, "We have discussed four zones of the Road Transport and Highways Division. There are several projects which are yet to be completed although the duration of those was over. Even the officials concerned could not say when the work would be completed."
He said the RTHD officials couldn't respond to many of their queries satisfactorily.
Asked if the committee members expressed disappointment, the committee chief said, "They [government officials concerned] are educated individuals. We did not use indecent language."
Meanwhile, a press release issued by the Parliament Secretariat yesterday said the meeting recommended sending a report to the committee explaining reasons for extending the duration of nine incomplete projects under the RTHD's Dhaka zone.