Parts of mega infrastructure project collapse before inauguration

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Parts of a mega infrastructure project adjacent to the Bay of Bengal caved in on 13 July 2019. Photo: UNBParts of a mega infrastructure project adjacent to the Bay of Bengal caved in on Saturday, prompting people to raise allegations of corruption during the construction works, reports news agency UNB.

The embankment and outer ring road from Faujdarhat to Patenga in Chattogram was constructed at a cost of over Tk 24.26 billion, jointly funded by the government and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

Of the total cost, JICA provided Tk 7.06 billion.

JICA signed an agreement with the Bangladesh government in 2007 after a feasibility study. Construction of the four-lane road started in July 2016. The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) implemented the project.

The 17.35km road was set to be inaugurated at the end of this year.

Many accused the CDA of corruption after parts of the road collapsed in the Patenga sea beach area - an allegation rejected by CDA.

"The walkway caved in after the high tide washed away soil," claimed project director engineer Kazi Hasan Bin Shams. "We've already started the reconstruction works."

Parts of a mega infrastructure project adjacent to the Bay of Bengal caved in on 13 July 2019. Photo: UNBUrban planner Delwar Hossain said cautious approaches have to be taken while implementing projects adjacent to the sea. Piling is very important in such cases, he added.

"Precast concrete piling is used if there's a need to carry extra load. The walkway collapsed because no such thing was done," Delwar said.

New CDA chairman Zahirul Alam Dubash said he will visit the site on Sunday. "We'll decide what to do after that," he said, adding that they will investigate whether there had been any corruption.

"No one will be spared if we find evidence of corruption," the CDA chief said.

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