Vol. 4 Num 251 Tue. February 10, 2004  
Front Page

Just-repaired roads ready for digging

After carrying out expensive repairs, Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is now going to allow service providers to dig up about 13,643 square metres of the newly repaired road surface.

DCC officials said they had 'no option' but to permit digging of the newly repaired roads for the sake of 'development'.

The repairs were made in the last six months under the Dhaka Urban Transport Project using 'expensive' materials and were expected to last long, Nagar Bhaban sources said.

The decision to allow Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Co, Dhaka Wasa, Desa and several other service providers will hamper traffic movement on several major city roads, including Purana Paltan Road, Rajuk Road, Gulshan-Mahakhali Link Road, Shaheed Tajuddin Road and some in Motijheel Commercial Area, DCC sources said.

In Motijheel, Titas Gas alone will excavate more than 7,800 square metres of road surface.

A DCC official said: "We have decided not to permit any digging from August to October." But, sources said, although the DCC was realising hefty caution money from service providers concerned for repairing dug-up roads, they were sure the digging would continue or ditches would be left waiting 'for compaction' throughout the rainy season. Thousands of commuters will suffer due to this, they added.

DCC officials were particularly worried about the digging by Dhaka Wasa, which they said 'never' completed its work in time. Recently and for the first time, the city corporation has frozen the entire caution money deposited by Wasa for digging in the old city.

The DCC engineers will soon receive Tk 45 crore from its revenue budget to start repairing 570 kilometres of lanes and by-lanes in the 360 square kilometre DCC area that remained without roadworks for several years.

Some DCC engineers blamed foreign donors for such indiscriminate road digging.

Before blaming Wasa, Desa, Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board and Titas Gas, one should look at the way the donors are releasing funds for installation projects, an engineer said requesting anonymity.

"In many cases, donors suddenly release funds and ask service providers to complete the tasks in a stipulated time," said the engineer.

"No matter how much co-ordination we maintain with one another, with the receipt of funds for work organisations concerned become desperate to obtain our permission to dig," he continued.

"The matter becomes an issue of national interest and DCC's elected leaders then consent to the digging."

Sources said the latest permission given by the DCC to dig city roads was a direct result of such behaviour by the donors.

DIT Extension Road in Motijheel is one of the busy thoroughfares caught up in an endless cycle of road digging for installation of underground utility cables. PHOTO: STAR