First News
Volume:7, Number:29
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Duration of Hatirjheel Project to Get an Extension

| Navid Ahmed |

T he Hatirjheel Integrated Development Project could not be finished on time even after several extensions. The work of Tejgaon-Moghbazar link road has not started yet, because land acquisition had not been done. The same goes for the project to keep Hatirjheel’s water clean.

The construction work of U-loops at Merul Badda part including the management building at Niketon is yet to be completed. Meanwhile, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) has suggested forming a new 10-member committee comprising representatives of various organizations involved in the maintenance and management of the Hatirjheel project. The concerned officials said that implementation of the Hatirjheel project was expected to be done by December 2016. But RAJUK has now asked the government for an one-and-a-half year extension. At the time of the fourth extension, a project named ‘Separating the Sewage Line from Storm Water’ was added with a view to keeping Hatirjheel’s water clean. The work of the project has not even started yet. The project director Md. Jalal Akhtar Bhuiyan informed that a proposal to extend the project period until June 2018 has been sent to the Planning Commission through the Ministry of Public Works.

Project manager major Kazi Shakil Hossain said, “At this point the construction work of the second U-loop near Merul Badda is about 75 percent incomplete. Although the initial plan was to build a 3-storey management building, later the decision to extend the building up to 10 stories is the reason behind the delay.” Major Shakil claimed that already 95 percent of the project has been completed and it barely needs another 6 months to finish the remaining work. However, they want to audit whether the total money earned from amphitheater, water taxi service, bus service and other cyclical sectors will be enough to support the maintenance costs of the Hatirjheel project. That is why they have asked for additional time to bring the management into an effective structure, he added.

The Hatirjheel Development Project began in 2007, with an estimated cost of BDT14.73 billion and was scheduled to be completed in June 2010. After the first round of revision, the deadline was extended by a year and cost went up by BDT80 million. The second time the cost rose to 19.71 billion with an increase of BDT4.9 billion and the project was extended by a year and a half. The deadline was extended once again to June 2015 when the cost rose to BDT22.36 billion in 2015, the project was extended for another one year and a half, and now the authorities are saying it would take the end of 2017 to complete it.

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