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Dhaka-Ctg Highway a bright example of govt`s inefficiency

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08th-Apr-2018       
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THE expansion of Dhaka-Chattagram Highway--from two lanes to four lanes to decrease the travel time from Dhaka to Chattagram to 4.5 or 5 hours -- was initiated in 2010; a year after the Awami League took office. However, it turned out to be the most talked-about project after the Padma Multipurpose Bridge because of the government's inability to supervise the work progress. Construction works never got momentum for various reasons. As a result, the three-year project took six years and the cost jumped more than doubled. And now ruts have developed on the Highway - within months of completion. It's a total misuse of public money and very unfortunate for the nation.
It is not a new phenomenon that our roads, highways and bridges are most of the time poorly constructed. And the Dhaka- Chattagram Highway which is known as lifeline of economy riddled with ruts - barely months from its construction - is another classic example of continuing inefficiency and poor planning by our Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and hired contractors.
According to Ministry officials, the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry is now seeking Tk 900 crore for maintenance in the next five years. To our utter surprise, though the Ministry is seeking for more funds for the mending job, it did not engage any experts to determine the causes of the ruts.
Another question arises regarding the quality of construction. A number of technical experts have blamed non-stop plying of overloaded vehicles for the rut whereas as another group of experts blamed the high thickness of the "wearing course" (the upper layer of a bituminous broad) and excessive bitumen for the ruts. Whatever the reason be, during the expansion work, the RHD and local and foreign contractors could have checked if the standard of the wearing course was appropriate. We all know overloaded vehicles have been plying in the Highways for decades. And as for more funds for maintenance, the expansion work should have been thoroughly investigated before allocating fresh funds for the repair job.
The present condition of the Dhaka-Chattagram Highway is a bright example of corruption, inefficiency and lack of good governance. We know, it's a crucial highway for the country as it is responsible for carrying 90 percent of the export and import goods from Chattagram Port. We want to see a prompt and viable solution to end the predicament surrounding this highway.


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