Construction of medical college building halted for extortion

Published : 16 Sep 2021 09:39 PM | Updated : 17 Sep 2021 12:56 AM

The construction work of a 18-storey building at the premises of Sylhet M. A. G. Osmani Medical College Hospital has been stopped as a group of youths identifying them as BCL activists demanded Tk 50 lakh from the construction company. The company complained that the group of youth also took tree cutting equipment.

Construction of the building on the premise of Sylhet M. A. G. Osmani Medical College started on August 31. Unplanned trees planted in the project area were being cut down by the direction of forest department. In this situation, the youths identified themselves as Medical College BCL activists and took away the tree cutting equipment. When the people of the forest department and the contractors went to fetch the equipment, they were demanded Tk 50 lakh as compensation for cutting down the trees. The contractor has left the project area after informing the hospital authorities in writing about the demand for extortion.

The incident took place around 2 pm last Wednesday. In the afternoon, it was seen on the spot in the project area that the trees that will be cut down for the new building have been left half cut and left by the people of the contractor.

When asked, Deputy Director (Administration) of Sylhet M. A. G. Osmani Medical College Mahbubul Alam said that the incident was reported in a written letter from the contractor around 3pm. It has been said that a group of youths demanded a large sum of money from them as compensation for the environment. They took away cutting tools, saws and shovels as they did not pay. They will not be able to work unless action is taken against the people who demanded extortion by rescuing them.

The Deputy Director further said that the work is a priority project of the Prime Minister. 

There will be 100 specialized beds in the new building. 

If such an obstacle arises at the beginning of a work that is important to the people, then no work in the public interest can be done.

According to the hospital's director's office, the project work was started from September 1 through the forest department and public works as the work order of the prime minister's priority project was given on August 31. A 18-storey building will be constructed at a cost of Tk 90 crore. This will be the tallest first building of the hospital. 

The area adjacent to the main gate of the hospital has been used as a car park for so long. Besides, during the establishment of the hospital, various trees were planted like gardens. If there is a need to cut down 62 such trees at the beginning of the project, the work is started through the forest department. The forest department, public works and contracting company started the work from yesterday morning. 

When contacted on his mobile phone, a representative of the contractor told Bangladesh Post on condition of anonymity, "We have informed the hospital authorities in writing about who called us and demanded money, snatched tree cutting equipment." We left the site due to insecurity there. If the hospital authorities ensure our safety, we will work. '

President of the Sylhet M. A. G. Osmani Medical College BCL Branch Saiful Islam said he also heard the incident but  he has no idea who could done such thing someone has done that using the name of Chhatra League, he said. He also urged authorities to take immediate action to start the project again.