Other hurdles delaying the project include land acquisition issues and design flaws, sources say
The Modern Khulna District Jail on 30 acres of land in Domuria upazila along the Rupsa Bypass Road which was slated to be finished by June 2020 is yet to be completed.
According to sources, the project of the jail was taken in 2008 and construction work started in 2014-15 fiscal year. June 2020 was the deadline for the ambitious project.
Though the Covid pandemic has forced the authorities to push the deadline further, 12 years on, the project is still in limbo.
Of the 41 tenders, sources said that nine are yet to be floated by the authorities, with skyrocketing prices of necessary raw materials hampering the overall progress of the Tk 251 crore worth project.
The bidding processes for construction of a hospital inside the jail, barrack-2, sentry box, garage, school, rainwater harvesting system, sewage treatment plant, water supply pipes, surface drains with culvert, external electrification and other works like soil test and solar panel installation are to be completed, sources said. Other hurdles delaying the project include land acquisition issues and design flaws.
However the project deadline, sources said, will soon be officially extended in the view of the Covid pandemic and lack of contractors and construction workers, many of whom have returned to their native homes during the lockdown and are yet to rejoin duty.
When contacted, Mohammad Nasir Uddin, the executive engineer of Public Works Division-2, Khulna, said, “The bidding process of some tenders is not yet done but thats due to the escalating prices of raw materials.”
"Moreover, the normal work of the project has been hampered due to coronavirus. Anyway, the remaining tenders will be floated soon and necessary steps are being taken to address other concerns obstructing the completion of the project,” he added.
Khulna District Jail, the old prison, was set up in the city’s Jailkhana Ghat along the bank of Bhairab River way back in 1912. Though it has a capacity to house 608 inmates, some 2,000 are currently languishing there.
The modern jail will have a capacity to cater for 2,000 inmates, apart from a dedicated hospital and entertainment facilities and prayer halls for the detainees.