Accountability must be ensured in implementing projects

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Delay and cost hike have been a common trend in implementing different projects under the various government departments and bodies. There is hardly any instance that projects are implemented timely and within the estimated cost. All work plans are undertaken in the interest of the people and public money is spent for that. Even if a project is implemented on foreign loans, the people have to pay back. So people are deprived of due services and their money wasted due to raising time and cost of the projects.

But unfortunately, this culture has continued from the past. Media outlets run reports regularly in this regard. But there is no remedy to this. Those responsible for delay and cost hike of projects, face neither punishment nor accountability.Two reports published in Prothom Alo on Thursday can be cited as the recent instances of such cases.

A project titled ‘Covered in Green’ was undertaken at a cost of Tk 148.9 million to renovate seven parks under Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). Later, the cost of the project was raised by Tk 110 million. However, the project is yet to be completed. The renovation of Hazaribagh Park was scheduled to be completed in six months, but the duration was increased to 26 months.

According to another report, a project under Dhaka WASA makes progress only 1.5 per cent although the tenure of implementation time has ended. The project was undertaken at a cost of Tk 6.07 billion to excavate five canals to protect three million people from water logging. Later, the project cost was raised by Tk 364 million. But the progress of the project is disappointing. After the end of 21 months of project implementation time, the progress is only 1.5 per cent. There is no report that the WASA has been asked to explain its failure. Such allegations against WASA have been reported. It is not learnt that those allegations have been addressed.

The work order for the renovation of seven parks under DSCC has been given to a private firm. But Dhaka WASA is not a private firm.

Due to lack of accountability, delay and cost hike in implementing projects under the government, semi-government, autonomous bodies and private entities have become a permanent culture. Above all it is very urgent to ensure accountability.

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