Cost of shifting utility service lines along MRT up threefold

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 03 Aug 2017, 19:32:00

Cost of shifting utility service lines along MRT up threefold

Cost of shifting utility service lines along MRT up threefold
Munima Sultana
The cost of shifting utility service lines along the route designated for the Dhaka metro rail project has gone up threefold, according to sources.

A total of eleven service providers are involved in shifting lines along the 20-kilometre metro rail corridor.

 Sources said lack of coordination among agencies concerned and deviation from original work plan have led to the rise in expenditure on utility service lines' relocation. The original estimated expenditure was Tk 2.01 billion.

The total budget for relocation, based on demands of service-providers, has been revised upward to Tk 7.71 billion, they said.

The Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development (DMRTD) project took the initiative to relocate the service lines of utilities gas, electricity, fibre-optic and land telephone along the metro rail corridor to help set up stations and piers for the elevated infrastructures of the first mass rapid transit (MRT) line-6.

It launched utility service relocation work on November 1 last in the Uttara- Agargaon part of the MRT line and has so far spent Tk 3.5 billion, sources added.

Sources said all the 11 utility service-providers placed separate budgets for relocation work while refusing to follow the project office's original plan to shift all the service lines to common trenches.

The relocation of service lines was supposed to be completed by the month of April last. But the job is yet to be completed. The Uttara-Agargaon section of the metro rail project is scheduled to be completed by December, 2019. But the sources expressed doubt over the hitting the deadline.

The DMRTD project office had earlier chalked out the utility relocation plan after holding several meetings with the representatives of all the service agencies and in accordance with their respective guidelines.  

As per the original plan, the DMRTD was to cut common trenches in the middle of one side of the road from Agargaon to Mirpur 10 to relocate high tension line and service lines of other agencies.

"Actually none of these agencies was found to have necessary information about its service lines. They even could not produce documents. This particular deficiency has caused enormous problem to the shifting of service lines," said an official.

As a result, the project office is yet to complete works of shifting gas, electricity and other service lines in between Uttara to Agargaon.

While the cost of the project has gone up due to lack of coordination among the service providers and their individual digging of the roads, commuters are suffering immensely while using the road between Agargaon and Mirpur section 12. Traffic congestions are common sight now.

The DMRTD officials concerned said since most works on the utility shifting have been completed they have requested the DNCC to complete the repair work of the road without any delay.

The project office had earlier disbursed nearly Tk.10 million to the DNCC for the repair work. But the DNCC has now placed a demand for an additional fund worth more than Tk.10 million since the volume of repair work has gone up.

According to a report of the DMRTD project, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), DESCO, Titas, BTCL, GrameenPhone, Dhaka Wasa, DPDC and Fibre@Home have completed all their respective shifting work at different stages.

It, however, says that work on the part of Mirpur DOHS-Pallabi road has not been done completely. Only 20 per cent works in that area, supposed to be done by Special Works Organisation (West) of Bangladesh Army, were recorded as completed.

The PGDB carried out the first and main work of shifting 132KV line from Agargaon to Mirpur section-1 but took five months instead of two-and-a-half months from November 1. It received Tk 630 million for the work.  

But the BTCL, after receiving Tk 328.7 million, is still working to connect more than 15,000 lines after relocation of the main line.

The project office record showed the release of Tk 500 million to SWO (West) for carrying out works from Mirpur DOHS-Pallabi road.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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