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Dhaka Tribune

Ashrayan Project: Govt thoroughly scrutinizing 'irregularities'

There might be unintentional flaws while implementing any project, says the project director

Update : 10 Jul 2021, 08:36 PM

The government is examining on a case-by-case basis the alleged irregularities and flaws in building houses under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dream Ashrayan Project of providing free homes to the landless and homeless people.

“We will attend each and every case properly, nothing will leave unattended,” project director M Mahbub Hossain told journalists after on-the-spot inspection of a project site at Burigari Khanpur of Sherpur upazila under Bogura district on Saturday.

He said that there might be unintentional flaws while implementing any project.

“We are looking into the matter, the allegations that came in the media …. whether those were intentional or unintentional,” he said.

Noting that the landless and homeless families are getting free houses and lands under the Ashrayan-2 project, he said it is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “model for inclusive development.”

He said that the upazila administration and public representatives worked together for this gigantic task to provide 118,380 houses (to landless and homeless families) during this coronavirus period.

The PMO has initiated the inspection as some newly constructed houses were damaged with the advent of monsoon and news of alleged irregularities in some places surfaced.

In two phases the government this year has provided some 118,380 two-room tin-shed pucca houses to the landless and homeless families as gifts of the prime minister marking the Mujib Year.

It also has a plan to provide 100,00/ more houses to homeless families under the Ashrayan-3 project that is run by the PMO in the Mujib Year.

Responding to a question, he said that already five teams are out to inspect the alleged irregularities or flaws in different parts of the country.

“We are finding out the problems and taking steps accordingly,” he said.

The project director mentioned that from the Prime Minister Office directives have already been given to form technical committees in respective District Administration and Upazila Administration.

Also Read - Ashrayan Project 2: Houses collapse after flood in Barisal

“Through these committees every damaged house will be inspected for immediate repair,” he added.

Regarding the partially-damaged seven houses in Burigari Khanpur, Mahbub Hossain said that 22 houses were built here beside a canal and of them toilets and kitchens of seven houses were damaged due to a landslide in heavy rain.

In this regard he said that there were RCC pillars, but those could not sustain.

He also mentioned that the government is placing GO bags for avoiding further landslides while there will be a drainage system for quick outflow of rain water.

Replying to a question about selecting the spot for Ashrayan Project he said that the instruction was to select Khash land which remained dry during 1988 floods.

“All houses of the Ashrayan Project were built on khash land. Some of the sites are not above the flat agricultural lands. Some of the sites are at the same level of the agricultural lands,” he said.

As a result, he mentioned that in some places there had been waterlogging due to heavy rain.

“Local administration has taken steps to remove the water and renovate the houses,” he said.

Five teams of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday started their visits to inspect the quality and design of Ashrayan houses in different parts of the country.

Despite of Covid-19 lockdown, the PMO teams will conduct their grassroots visits for the next few days to inspect the houses that have already been constructed or are under construction under the Ashrayan-2 Project.

The visiting teams will have to prepare reports with the use of pictures following their inspection.

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