On the one hand, government officials and employees are not getting accommodation in Dhaka city, on the other hand, a number of government apartments are lying unaccommodated. This is a prime example of waste of public funds.
Prothom Alo reports, five multi-storied buildings were constructed in the furniture industry area of Mirpur Section 6 of the capital to facilitate the accommodation of government officials of the deputy secretary rank. Most of the apartments in these buildings have been vacant for two years.
Six buildings in Sialbari area of the same section have been lying vacant since last June as the officials were not interested in moving. Even with repeated notices from the government's Directorate of Government Accommodation, officials did not to move to the vacant apartments.
Apart from this, the construction project of nine residential buildings for government officials and employees in Maijdi town of Noakhali was completed last June, but no one showed interest to shift there. Apartments ranging from 650 sq.ft to 1,250 sq.ft have been constructed in Maijdi for government officials. Six 14-floor buildings have been constructed in Aliganj of Narayanganj which also remained empty. To build these buildings the government had to spent Tk 8.52 billion, Tk 2. 9 billion, Tk 2.19 billion and Tk 4.02 billion respectively.
The accommodation directorate is responsible for allocating flats in these buildings. Based on their recommendations, the Ministry of Housing and Public Works constructs buildings. But neither were their recommendations taken into consideration nor were any feasibility studies conducted in the construction of these buildings. The decisions were taken on the whims of top officials of the ministry.
A huge amount of government money was wasted due to their arbitrary attitude. On one hand, hundreds of flats built in Mirpur are lying vacant, on the other hand, BCS administration, police, agriculture and other cadre officials are crowding the accommodation directorate with applications for apartments of their choice. They are mainly interested in getting apartments in Motijheel, Eskaton and Azimpur areas.
Many people are lobbying with ministers and secretaries to get allotment of apartments in these places. However, no one is willing to go to Mirpur due to transportation problems. Government officials will prefer to stay where transport is easily available. Moreover, private housing facilities are available at cheaper prices than the rent fixed for government apartments in Narayanganj and Maijdi.
There is a provision to verify the feasibility of any building before construction. But the top officials of the ministry did not feel the need for that either. What is the justification for the waste of billions by the government due to the arbitrariness and imprudence of the concerned department?
These buildings built by spending millions cannot remain vacant. Low-ranking officers and employees should be allotted those apartments by relaxing terms and conditions if needed. The entire process of the construction of those buildings should be investigated. Those responsible for this waste should also be held accountable. Such waste of public tax money cannot go unheeded.