Administrative action already taken over mismanagement allegations, houses to be repaired or reconstructed, if needed
The government has had a zero-tolerance policy for irregularities in the Ashrayan Project from the very beginning, Ashrayan 2 Project Director Md Mahbub Hossain said on Friday.
The project director made the remark as he led several high-level teams from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to visit and inspect the houses under the project, which were built for the landless and homeless people across the country.
The inspections are being carried out as the authorities concerned have strengthened monitoring activities following allegations of irregularities, negligence, and misappropriation in the project.
While visiting one of the Ashrayan sites in Kandipara under Munshiganj sadar upazila, Mahbub Hossain said the government was working relentlessly to ensure quality homes for the homeless people through the project.
"Every case is important to us, as the dreams of each family are connected to each house. That is why we are going to visit the houses from the PMO even amid this tough pandemic situation," he said.
Mahbub Hossain also said Ashrayan was the largest humanitarian project of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"Since the outset, we have had a zero-tolerance policy against any irregularities and negligence in this project," the project director added.
He said administrative action has already been taken in the areas where the allegations of irregularities were raised, and all houses that were not built according to the approved design would be repaired or reconstructed, as necessary.
“In many places, houses were damaged due to heavy rainfall, flooding, and other natural disasters, while some houses were damaged due to flaws in the construction,” he said, adding that all the damaged houses were being repaired.
The project director also said a vested quarter was spreading misleading information and propaganda to create controversy over the Ashrayan Project.
"Keep trust in the PMO. Houses will be given to all landless and homeless people," he said.
Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate Kazi Nahid Rasul was present on the occasion, among others.
Five teams from the PMO are visiting houses in different districts and upazilas even amid the strict restrictions in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, as the project is one of ten special initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina under the pledge of not letting anyone remain homeless in the country.
The teams have been given directives to submit reports following their visits to both already constructed and under-construction houses at different districts and upazilas, after evaluating whether the methods of construction and quality are maintained as per the approved design and estimates.
Under the Ashrayan project, a total of 118,380 landless and homeless families have been given two-room semi-pucca tin-shed houses on two decimals land, so far.
The government prepared a list of 885,622 families in 2020, of which 293,361 families are landless and homeless and 592,261 families have 1-10 decimals of land but no housing. All of them will be given houses in phases.