Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:59:02 PM
Badrul Ahsan :
Legal bindings of safety measures for pedestrians, residents and workers in and around the under construction mega projects in Dhaka and other cities have long been violated by the contractors mainly due to poor vigilance by the concerned authorities, sources said.
They added that due to the insufficient measures for safety and security, several casualties like death and injuries have occurred several times centering these projects.
Besides, slow progress or no progress in delivering justice for such incidents also made the contractors darer to show thumb to the government authorities as well as to the life and properties of general people.
People involved with the mega projects preferring anonymity said, "Several incidents like death and injuries have occurred earlier both in Dhaka and Chittagong but we did not see any sign of punishment of the culprits till date. So, neither the government's concerned authorities nor contractors bother about the safety measures."
After a visit to the city's Moghbazar-Malibagh flyover, the costliest project in South Asia, on Thursday, this correspondent found that although a man died and two others were injured after a girder fell off from a flyover during construction work at Malibagh rail gate just three days ago, safety measures were widely ignored in the project till yesterday (Thursday).
Workers at the project were found working on the flyover without wearing any helmet, safety belts, boots or other things needed as safety measures. Besides, no measures like isolated boundaries and steel sheds were not in place to ensure safety of the pedestrians or nearby residents.
Shopkeepers and pedestrians alleged that small incidents frequently occur in the area due to apathy of the authorities concerned.
"Many people have been facing various incidents from the beginning of the flyover project, but they couldn't say anything as the contractor is a political muscleman," said Golum Nahid Rabbani, a shopkeeper adjacent to the under construction flyover at Malibagh.
"Few days back, oil tanker of a biker was also damaged due to fall of a piece of stone from the top of the flyover. If the stone would fall on his head, what would be than? he questioned.
According to our district correspondents, similar scenarios also persist in the mega projects in other cities, including Chittagong and Comilla.
Our Chittagong correspondent said, small or medium incidents centering construction of flyover have become a regular phenomenon in the port city.
"None wants to speak against the unlawful activities of the contractor as political musclemen are involved with the work. Besides, absence of justice also forced them to be mum over the irregularities," he added.
According to him, 15 people died and more than 50 others seriously injured in November 24 in 2012 in Chittagong as girder fell off from the under construction Bahaddar Hat flyover. The than government formed three committees to find out the guilty, but the committees are yet submitted their reports.
"We are in doubt whether the victims would get justice. If not, then the scenario would go worst gradually. None will expect any punishment of their illegal activity," Nazma Sultana, a resident of Chittagong, said.
Our Comilla correspondent said, the contractor of flyover in Comilla does not even comply with a single safety issue.
"There is neither any barricade nor any cautionary signs in the project area which frequently lead to medium and minor accidents," he said.
However, the construction of the Moghbazar-Malibagh flyover is unlikely to end soon, mainly because the project had changed of its plans, said a top official of the Local Government Division requesting anonymity.
The 8-km Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover project was taken up in January 2011 by the LGED and it was supposed to be completed by December 2014. The concerned authorities brought changes in the design along with expanding project cost and extending time by one and a half years, until 2016. But the progress of the construction work is still unsatisfactory. The cost of the project jumped to Tk 1,219 crore from Tk 773 crore, an increase by 58 per cent.
The construction cost was calculated at Tk 97 crore per km at the beginning but now it stands at Tk 152 crore per km. The work has not been completed yet even though an extended deadline expired several months ago.
Meanwhile, neither any project official nor contractor wanted to talk to the journalists regarding the issue despite several attempts.
AFP, Stuttgart :Victories by Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova gave the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over hosts Germany in their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova needed just over an hour for an emphatic 6-3, 6-2 win over Julia Goerges at the Porsche Arena in ...
Salman Khan is one of Bollywood's biggest superstars and over the years he has made a brand out of himself. Everything from his dance moves, clothes, accessories to his attitude and body language is a rage among his fans. Salman was recently proven guilty in the 1998 Blackbuck poaching case. ...
Shree Narayan Singh's Batti Gul Meter Chalu is a social drama that depicts the contradiction between long hours of power cuts and the ironically high electricity bills that dig a hole in the common man's pocket. It narrates the story of a man's fight against power distribution companies. Shahid Kapoor ...
NONE of over 3,500 cases filed under the counter-trafficking law across the country has disposed of since the formulation of the act. It has left the victims and their families in utter frustration. They are also deprived of getting remedy and compensations. Whereas the perpetrators are threatening them to withdraw ...
Reuters, Colorado : Thousands of students again walked out of classes across the United States on Friday, marking the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School with a show of unity aimed at pressuring politicians to enact tighter gun restrictions.Students from more than 2,600 schools and institutions planned to ...
EDITORS' COUNCIL, an organisation of editors of the country's national dailies, has recently expressed grave concern over Section 21, 25, 28, 31, 32, and 43 of the Proposed Digital Security Act. It said the sections would greatly obstruct freedom of speech and independent journalism. However, responding to the concern the ...
Entertainment Report :Popular actress and model of present time Anny Khan for the first time paired up with National Film Award winner actor and director Zahid Hasan in a drama serial.Zahid Hasan is acting in the title role in the serial. Viewers will watch a new role Zara in the ...
AP, Seoul :North and South Korea installed the first-ever telephone hotline between their leaders Friday as they prepare for a rare summit next week aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.South Korea's presidential office said a successful test call was conducted on the hotline between Seoul's presidential Blue House ...
RAJIB Hossain, a third-year student of Titumir College, whom right hand was pulled out being stuck between two speeding buses in the city, drifted off to death on Tuesday after two weeks in coma. The life of the ill-fated youth ended quite tragically at 21 leaving his two teenage brothers ...
Entertainment Report :Hothat Dekha (sudden rendezvous) is not a title. It was a sudden rendezvous of two friends, two popular actors and directors - Afsana Mimi and Zahid Hasan. Recently they were taking part in shooting of two separate plays in the city’s Uttara area. Zahid Hasan was engaged with ...