Barishal-Bhola-Lakshmipur road dev cost increases

Published : 16 Aug 2022 08:16 PM

The cost of Barishal-Bhola-Lakshipur national highway development program is increasing. In this case, the expenditure is increasing by 189 crore 77 lakh taka. That is, 60.73 percent compared to the original cost. Along with that, the term is increasing by one year. For this reason, the first amendment of the project entitled 'Upgradation of Barishal-Bhola-Lakshipur National Highway from Barishal (Charkaua) to Bhola (Elisha Ferighat) to Lakshipur to proper standard and width' has been proposed in the Planning Commission. Meanwhile, the project is slow. The cost of the project in about two and a half years from the beginning to December last year is 74 crores and 75 lakhs. Actual progress stands at 50 percent.

If this is implemented, the 39.86 km road from Barishal to Bhola to Lakshipur of Barishal-Bhola-Lakshipur national highway will be upgraded to proper standard and width. Through this, the concerned parties hope to establish road communication with Barishal divisional headquarters, Bhola and Lakshipur districts.

According to sources, the original cost of the project was Tk 312 crore 48 lakh. Now the total expenditure has been increased to Tk 189 crore 77 lakh and proposed to be Tk 502 crore 26 lakh. When it was approved, the implementation period was from March 2019 to June 2021. After that the period was extended by one year till June 2022 without increasing the expenditure. But as the work is over in this too, this time in the first amendment it is proposed to extend the period by one year till June 2023.

Mamun-al-Rashid, a former member of the Physical Infrastructure Department of the Planning Commission, who is in charge of the project, and the current Planning Secretary, told that for the implementation of the project, it is necessary to reduce and increase the cost of various parts, including the acquisition of land, the construction of U drain and the inclusion of some new parts, including the retaining wall. In this case, additional money is needed for the implementation of the project than the original sanctioned expenditure. So the scheme is proposed to be revised.

He also said that under the proposed project, the socio-economic conditions of the people of the project area will be improved by upgrading the 39.86 km road to the appropriate standard and width, along with the establishment of improved road connectivity with Barishal divisional headquarters, Bhola and Lakshipur districts. Consequently, the first amendment proposal of the project is acceptable.

Several responsible officials of the Planning Commission told that the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting was held on June 29 last year after receiving the proposal from the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges. 

Following the recommendations given in that meeting, the project has been recommended to be presented in the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). 

If approved, the Department of Roads and Public Ways (SOAZ) will complete its implementation by 

June 2023.

Bhola is an important island district of Barishal division comprising six districts in the southern part of the country. Barishal-Laharhat-Veduria-Bhola-Elisha-Maju Chowdhury Hat-Lakshipur National Highway is the only means of road communication of Bhola district with the entire country, Barisal district headquarters and capital Dhaka. Although the road is a national highway, its existing width is 5.5 meters. For this, according to the geometric standards of the Suaj Department, the initiative was taken to upgrade the 39.57 km road section to a width of 10.30 meters with hard shoulders on both sides. Therefore, the original DPP of the project was approved on March 12 last year for implementation from March 1, 2019 to June 30 of last year at a total estimated cost of Tk 312 crore 48 lakh 23 thousand with full government funding. Inclusion of new organs under the project to increase the quantity and cost reduction of various organs at a total estimated cost of Tk 534 crore 62 lakh 24 thousand from March 1, 2019 to March 31

The main activities of the project are acquisition of 20.528 hectares of land, 6.8 thousand 289 million cubic meters of road construction and earthworks, 18.5 thousand 157 km of pavement widening, 12.9 thousand 507 km of pavement elevation, 12.2 thousand 7 km of pavement Reinforcement, 10.50 km of hard solder, 37.6 km of surfacing, 1.50 km of rigid pavement, 194 m of RCC box culvert and RCC retaining wall will be constructed.