‘Substandard materials being used in road construction’

Published : 28 Oct 2023 09:29 PM | Updated : 29 Oct 2023 04:39 PM

Low-quality construction materials are reportedly being utilized in the renovation of the Ranigram-Panchthakuri road in the Sirajganj Sadar Upazila. 

This road project falls under the jurisdiction of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), an organization operating under the Ministry of Local Government. Allegations have been raised against the contractor, RK Enterprises, regarding the subpar quality of bricks, mortar, and stone, as well as uneven asphalt work and the improper use of bitumen.

In order to ensure the accuracy of bitumen quantity and stone gradation used for road development, repair, and maintenance, the executive engineers of all districts throughout the country have been directed to collect samples every two thousand square meters before authorizing payment for the asphalt work. 

These samples will then be examined in a laboratory to verify the bitumen quantity and stone gradation used. Regrettably, officials in the Sirajganj LGED seem to be neglecting these testing procedures.

On a Saturday morning, it came to light that local residents had raised concerns about irregularities and corruption in the renovation of the Ranigram-Panchthakuri road within the upazila. Several sections of this road have sustained extensive damage due to recent floods.

Tenders were issued by the upazila engineer's office for the repair of 7 kilometers and 400 meters of this road. An allocation of Tk 1 crore 85 lakh was made for this repair work, and the contract was awarded to the contractor, RK Enterprises.

The contractor initiated the road repair but began with aged and low-quality bricks and stones. Additionally, there are allegations that the contractor did not utilize the appropriate amount of bitumen for asphalt work. Local residents have expressed their dissatisfaction and raised their concerns, but their grievances have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. Individuals such as Abul Hossain, Sohrab Ali, Gaher Molla, and Sujab Sheikh have verbally complained to the contracting company about the use of subpar materials, but no action has been taken. Locals contend that this substandard work is occurring with the cooperation of LGED officials.

Rashedul Islam, the owner of RK contracting company, has stated that there are no irregularities in the project and that the work is progressing according to the schedule.

The Executive Officer of Sadar Upazila LGED, Abul Kalam Azad Molla, has indicated that he is unaware of these complaints and has promised to conduct an inquiry. He further assured that if the quality of the work is found to be inadequate, action will be taken against the contractor.

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