Heavy showers cause waterlogging in the road making it even more dilapidated and causing untold sufferings to locals
The repair works of a 13-km road in Bishwanath, an upazila of Sylhet, has now gone on for one-and-half years. Not only is the repair project incomplete - serious questions remain over the quality of work that has been completed.
At present, work on the repair project has come to a standstill, with about half the 13-km road stretching from Bishwanath GC to the edge of Jagannathpur repaired (for what it's worth). Numerous potholes can be seen on the other half of the road.
Heavy showers cause waterlogging in the road making it even more dilapidated and causing untold sufferings to pedestrians in particular, who frequent this route.
The authorities approved the repair project on December 17, 2019. Contractor Shaon Enterprise got the tender with an allocation close to Tk23.47 crore.
RCC slab casting, a form of concrete casting, was estimated to be needed on about 18m in different parts of the 13.09 km road.
However, the contractor took six months from the approval to start the work - among other things, the pandemic caused delays.
After working for a few days, they stopped working for another three to four months due to personal reasons. In this situation, when the tender was about to be cancelled, the contractor shifted the responsibility of the repair work to his other associates.
The locals said: "If the work had started on time, we would not have suffered. As half of the road remained incomplete, the road has become more dilapidated due to waterlogging caused by monsoon rains. Potholes are everywhere on the road."
There are also many defects in the completed part of the road.
At present, the work has been in limbo for six-to-eight weeks. In this situation, there is uncertainty about the rest of the repair work.
Upazila Engineer Abu Saeed told UNB that about half of the repair work has been completed. According to his office, about seven to eight metres of RCC casting remains.
Apart from that, 9 km of sub-base (pavement), 8 km of Dabu BM (bitumen) and 5 km of carpeting have been completed. The remaining half of the work is unfinished.
"If the lockdown is eased, the work will be completed as soon as possible with an increased number of labourers," Engineer Saeed insists. But the long-suffering residents can only doubt his reassurances.