Corrupt persons in our country never run out of new ploys to squander the money of the government's development projects. Such an instance has been recently revealed in the mega development project of Chattogram City Corporation worth about Tk 25 billion. Roads that are in good condition have also been included in the list of allocation for renovations and infrastructure development in the city.
About Tk 2.27 billion has been allocated for the repair of 37 good roads. While some of these roads have been renovated a few months ago, some are still under renovation. It is evidently a well-thought-out plan to embezzle government money allocated for development projects.
According to a report by Prothom Alo, about Tk 160 million has already been spent in the last four years for repairing 37 roads that were in good condition. Yet, the city corporation wants to spend Tk 150 million to tar a flyover already in good condition. The project director of the flyover says the road does not need to be repaired in the next four to five years.
Tarring the flyover again will increase the weight on the flyover. More surprisingly, the city corporation allocated Tk 1.02 billion to repair 18 roads that are already being renovated by JICA. As the list of roads did not cover the entire allocation amount by enlisting good condition roads, they included roads under renovation of other projects.
Any development plan has to go through a lot of verification before it is approved. However, the planning commission has approved such a project. It also came up in the meeting of the commission that more allocation has been made for the purchase of equipment including expensive vehicles worth millions under the project.
The city corporation has already has few of those equipment. This means that there is a 'golden' opportunity for illegal traders. It is now awaiting final approval from the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).
There is no end to the development projects in Chattogram. Even then, the misery of the residents of Chattagram is not over. One flyover after another has been constructed. The problem of waterlogging has not been solved in ages. In a few hours of continuous rain, the roads, drains and canals of the entire city go under water.
Drains and canals have turned into death traps in areas along the road. A few people died this year after falling into drains. The body of the last person was not even found. When projects are being concocted to fill certain people's pockets rather than for the benefit of the people, the inevitable is happening with many development projects in Chattogram.
Akhter Kabir Chowdhury, the secretary of Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik in Chattogram, said, “It is a crime to take up such a project, which falls into the category of corruption. Shall we have to see this project approved by ECNEC?”
He added, “The project not only should be cancelled, but also those who have made or planned this project proposal must be held accountable and brought to justice.”