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Ashrayan Project-2

Substandard materials used

Vested quarters make PM’s dream project questionable


 
Published : 05 Sep 2021 09:53 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2021 02:59 AM

Some vested quarters have circulated ill-motivated propaganda against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dream project of building houses for homeless and landless people marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Low estimated prices of raw materials led to the allocation of lower-than-required amount for of the Ashrayan Project-2, sources said.

They said the prices for the materials of the houses were estimated based on the PWD rate schedule of 2018, but the construction of the project started just in 2021, when the market prices of the materials increased.

The project was marked by widespread corruption. However, credible sources, who are directly involved in the project implementation, rejected the allegations as totally baseless. 

“It is a part of deep-rooted conspiracy hatched against the government in a bid to demoralise the field-level government officials, who are working restlessly to materialise the dream of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure home for everyone in the country,” said one source preferring not be named.

They said the allocation of insufficient funds for the houses compelled most of the Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNOs) to channel funds from another government project to complete the housing project using quality materials as per the approved design.

Many other UNOs were forced to use poor-quality construction materials as they failed to transfer big funds from another project where the numbers of houses was big. 

A Bangladesh Post investigation also found that the allocation for the houses was much low compared to the present market prices of the construction materials. 

It was quite impossible for constructing a semi-pucca house consisting of two rooms with a kitchen and a toilet using quality materials, said construction insiders.

Flat soling

Tk 10,501 was estimated for the flat soling of 31.06 square meters. Tk 338.10 was estimated for per square meter flat soling. However, flat soling of 31.06 square meters was not possible with Tk 10,501. According to the current market price, Tk 12,579 is required for flat soling at a rate of Tk 405 per square meter, said a construction related businessman seekinganonymity. So, Tk 2,078 less than the required amount was estimated only on flat soling of a single house. 

CC work

Tk 12,913 was estimated for 2.44 cubic meter CC work at a ratio of 1:3:6. Tk 5,296 was estimated per cubic meter CC work. The CC work would have been stronger and longer-lasting, if the ratio was 1:2:4 instead of 1:3:6. Moreover, 2.44 cubic meter CC work was not possible to implement with Tk 12,913. According to the current market price, Tk 20,252 is required for the CC work at a rate of Tk 8,300 per cubic meter for the ratio of 1:2:4. Tk 7,339 less than the required amount was estimated in this case. 

10-inch brick masonry

Tk 25,895 was estimated for 5.33 cubic meter 10-inch brick masonry at a ratio of 1:6. Tk 4,862 was estimated per cubic meter 10-inch brick masonry. A foundation of only one foot was founded under the ground. A foundation of one footincluding soling and CCwas also set up above the ground. Besides, only one foot of 10-inch brick masonry under the ground and only six inches of 10-inch brick masonry above the ground was estimated. In the case of shallow foundation, brick foundation under the ground is not recommended below two feet and the brick foundation above the ground is recommended to be at least 18inches excluding soling and CC. In this case, the total brick masonry was supposed to be three feet and six inches and the total masonry was supposed to be 11.07 cubic meter. However, 11.07 cubic meter 10-inch brick masonry is not possible to build with Tk 25,895. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 77,490 is required as per cubic meter 10-inch brick masonry with the ratio of 1:4 is required Tk 7,000. In this case, Tk 51,595 less amount was estimated than the required fund. 

Five-inch brick masonry

Tk 43,535 was estimated for 58.98 cubic meter five-inch brick masonry at a ratio of 1:6. Tk 738 was estimated for per cubic meter 10-inch brick masonry. The masonry would have been stronger and longer-lasting, if the ratio was 1:4 instead of 1:6. However, construction of 58.98 cubic meter five-inch brick masonry is not possible with Tk 43,535. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 60,749 is required at a rate of Tk 1,030 for per cubic meter five-inch brick masonry with the ratio of 1:4. In this case, Tk 17,214 less was estimated than the required amount. 

RCC lintel

Tk 1,474 was estimated for 0.24 cubic meter cut RCC lintel at a ratio of 1:2:4. In other words, Tk 6,119 was estimated for per cubic meter RCC lintel. According to construction experts, if full lintel is used instead of cut lintel there will be less risk of cracks in the corners of doors and windows.And it will be stronger and more durable. The total RCC would be 0.97 cubic meter if full lintel is used. However, 0.97 cubic meter full lintel construction is not possible with Tk 1,474. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 10,961 is required for per cubic meter RCC lentil with the ratio of 1:2:4 at a rate of Tk 11,300. In this case, Tk 9,487 less amount was estimated than the required amount.

Wood

Tk 13,988 was estimated for 0.40 cubic meter wood. Tk 990 was estimated for per CFT of wood including the labour cost. Tk 6,500 is required for labour and other ancillary cost for a house. Tk 7,488 remains after meeting these costs. It means Tk 500 was estimated for purchasing per CFT of wood. Only low-quality wood can be purchased with this amount. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 27,686 is required including labour and other ancillary costat a rate of Tk 1,500for per CFT of wood. In this case, Tk 13,698 less was estimated than the required amount. 

Windows and doors

Tk 17,605 was estimated for five 22-gauge sheet windows and two 18-gauge sheet doors. According to the mentioned thickness,the total weight of five windows and two doors stands at 210 kg. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 23,100 is required at a rate of Tk 110per kg. In this case, Tk 5,495 less was estimated than the required amount. 

PVC door

Tk 1,600 was estimated for a PVC door. However, according to the prevailing market price, Tk 2,300 is required for a good quality PVC door. In this case, Tk 700 less was estimated than the required amount. 

Plaster

Tk 16,701 was estimated for 117.95 square meter plaster at a ratio of 1:6. Tk 141.59 has been estimated for per square meter. The plaster would have been stronger and longer-lasting if the ratio was 1:4 instead of 1:6. However, 117.95 square meter plaster construction at a ratio of 1:4 is not possible with Tk 16,701. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 29,959 is required per square meter for the ratio of 1:4 at a rate of Tk 254. In this case, Tk 13,258 less than the required amount wasestimated. 

Paints

Tk 2,088 was estimated for triple coat whitewashing on walls and enamel painting of five windows and two doors, which is not possible at this cost. Using weather coat paints would enhance the beauty of the walls and increase durability. Tk 8,000 is required for weather coat paints. In this case, Tk 5,912 less was estimated than the required amount. 

Ring-slab, pan

Tk 1,730 was estimated for installing ring-slab, pipe, syphon, pan and gas pipe. However, it is not possible to buy these materials and install them at the estimated cost. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 5,000 is required for all those.

Soil cutting and soil filling

Tk 766 was estimated for soil cutting and filling, which is very less than the required amount. Filling sand instead of soil would increase the durability of the floor. Besides, the height of the floor could be increased to 2 feet and6 inches instead of 1 foot and 6 inches. The foundation could be two feet and six inches instead of one foot. Tk 5,000 is required for this work. In this case, Tk 4,234 less was estimated than the required amount.

Corrugated iron sheet

Tk 17,787 was estimated for 3.21 bundles of corrugated iron sheet at a rate of Tk 5,541 each. However, it is not possible to buy corrugated iron sheets at this price at present. According to the prevailing market price, Tk 24,075 is required for 3.21 bundles at a rate of Tk 7,500 for a bundle of corrugated iron sheet. In this case, Tk 6,288 less was estimated than the required amount.

Transportation cost

Tk 4,000 was estimated for transporting all the materials of a house. However, it is not possible to transport all the materials at the designated place at this cost. Almost all the houses are located a little far from the carpeting road of the villages. In some cases, the goods had to deliver to the destination by carrying them on head. The minimum amount to deliver the materials should have been estimated at Tk 10,000. In this case, Tk 6,000 less was estimated than the required amount.

Additional Tk 145,000 needed for each sustainable house

According to a construction expert, who analysed the engineering design said, “An additional amount of Tk 149,000 is required with the estimated Tk 171,000 to build a house strongly. The total cost for each house would thus be Tk 320,000.