RHD sources say additional funding is awaiting approval and there will be no obstructions after the fund is approved
The development project for the only two-lane road in Joypurhat town is progressing at a snail’s pace after the work of widening began in September last year.
Heavy to light vehicles have been using the Joypurhat-Bogra road to move from and through Joypurhat town to other districts. But slow pace of the development work is contributing to the severe traffic congestion daily and more hassle for the commuters as the number of vehicles is increasing every day.
According to Roads and Highways Department (RHD) sources in the district, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved a Tk164 crore project that aimed to broaden 31 kilometres of road from the Mokamtola area, Bogra to Joypurhat.
The project is designed to stretch the width of the 28-kilometre road, from Mokamtala to Harail of Joypurhat, from 18 feet to 24, and from Harail to Railghumti of Joypurhat to 60 feet, which will be four-lane.
The three kilometres of the four-lane road from Harail to Railghumti is aimed to have a width of 24 feet on each side, excluding the four foot traffic island in the middle and a further four-foot pedestrian path on each side.
RHD sources said the development work is impeded due to shortfall of financing. The government initially funded Tk29 crore 44 lakh to pay compensations to the former landowners, whose land was acquired for the project.
However, on the process of legally settling the matter with the land owners, the estimated price of the acquired land have exceeded the expectations of the planners and also land price has increased. As of now the compensation increased to three folds than the estimated price. To legally proceed according to plan, the
RHD needs an additional funding of Tk60 crore, which is awaiting approval from Ecnec.
Joypurhat RHD Executive Engineer Tanvir Siddik said: "The work of the 15 kilometre road of the Joypurhat part is already done. We could not begin the work for the four-lane as it is awaiting approval. We hope the fund will be approved in the course of this month, then there will be no obstructions for us to complete the work."
Two contractor companies were given the work order through a tender in December 24, 2017 and June 27, 2018 respectively. The companies were supposed to complete the work within 1.5 years after the work order. The development work for the road was inaugurated by MP Abu Sayeed Al-Mahmud Swapon of Joypurhat 2 on September 30, 2018.
President of the Joypurhat press club, Mostakim Farrokh, said: "Traffic in Joypurhat town gets severe from 10am to 12pm and after 8pm. Local vehicles have increased as well as the number of buses and trucks that pass through the city.
"Vehicles from Rajshahi, Naogaon and Dinajpur also ply on the road and if the road is widened soon, commuters will be relieved of much hassle daily."
Jatiya Party's district unit General Secretary ASM Moktadir Titas said: "During the office hours the traffic is so bad that people can barely walk. We were really happy when we heard that there will be a four lane for this single most important road Joypurhat town have. But now people find it difficult to believe that there will be any four-lane at all."