RHD set to return 90pc fund for bus-based mass transit line

Dhaka,  Wed,  26 April 2017
Published : 21 Apr 2017, 00:39:55
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RHD set to return 90pc fund for bus-based mass transit line

Delay in construction work to blame
Munima Sultana


Delay in starting construction work of the country's first dedicated bus service has led to failure of the authorities concerned to spend 90 per cent of its yearly budget, sources said.

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD), the executing authority of the Tk 20.39 billion project, is set to surrender Tk 4.1 billion out of allotted Tk 4.63 billion due to its inability to begin the construction work in time.

Though the Department signed a contract with a Chinese company to build necessary infrastructures on 20-kilometre Gazipur-Airport corridor in December, sources said it took four months' time to commence the project.

"We are trying to come to the field by June," said a senior project official.

He, however, confirmed that the budget allocated in the current fiscal year could not be spent.

Only on April 13, the RHD announced the commencement of the contract though it was signed in December 2016.

The project official, however, said mobilisation work of the project began earlier and the Chinese company is likely to start the construction work from Gazipura near Ershadnagar shortly. The RHD has been able to utilise Tk 483 million.

The project was titled 'Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project' or BRT-Gazipur-Airport. Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) and Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) are responsible for constructing 4.5-kilometre elevated expressway and lane and by-lane, and an administrative building, refueling stations, washing and repairing plants for the BRT buses at the depot.

Among these, only depot site development work has begun. Officials said the RHD, being the lead agency, could not spend major part of the budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 due to slow progress of the part being implemented under the two agencies as they are yet to complete evaluation process of the contracts.

However, sources said the delay was also caused for not getting project aid as two development partners are providing fund to implement the first bus-based mass transit system.

The RHD has taken the project to expand existing 20km road from Gazipur to Hazrat Shahjalal Airport to eight to 12-lane roads.

Under the project named 'Greater Dhaka Urban Sustainable Transport ', Tongi bridge will also be turned into eight lanes.

The BRT corridor is likely to be connected with 131 roads including those between Dhaka and Mymensingh.

The RHD signed contract with China Gegova Group Company for constructing 16-kilometre road including six flyovers for introducing BRT service from Gazipur to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by 2018.

    smunima@yahoo.com
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