Vol. 5 Num 652 Wed. March 29, 2006  

Dhaka bypass likely to open by June
A portion has already become uneven

The much-awaited 48-km Dhaka Bypass Road is likely to open to traffic within next two months, but the experts feared that a large portion of the road will become uneven because of inadequate compaction of soil.

"We have reports that there were some irregularities in the construction work of the road from Gazipur to Narayanganj, but we are keen to open it to traffic by June," Additional Chief Engineer of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) Khandakar Nurul Arefin told the news agency.

Three months ago, the RHD formed a technical committee comprising three BUET professors to probe the irregularities, but it could not submit its report as yet because of lack of necessary documents.

Prof Alamgir Muzibul Haque, head of the committee, said they have submitted a proposal to the RHD for investigation into the technical faults in the construction work but have not yet received any official letter to conduct the inspection.

According to sources, a four-km portion of the road has already become uneven where vehicles have been plying unofficially. The RHD officials estimated that it will cost Tk 25 crore to repair the damaged portion of the road before the formal opening.

The bypass road started at Joydevpur and stretches via Bhulta and Kanchan through Chittagong Highway at Madanpur, connecting the Sylhet National Highway, Executive Engineer of Dhaka Zone Safiul Azam Bhuiyan said.

The four-km road from Bhulta to Kanchan has already become bumpy as the road sinks on less compact soil. Former executive engineer of Narayanganj division Nazmul Haque said last year's flood washed away the soils from the shoulder of the road.

"This is neither a technical fault nor administrative irregularities, this is a regular phenomena for our RHD projects, and just a thick layer of pitch could solve the problems," he added.

But another engineer of the project, preferring anonymity, told the BSS that it is a technical fault because there was no option to do a scientific soil compaction, and without reconstruction, the road is not going to work.

According to BUET technical committee, there are problems in soil compaction as well as in construction work due to unnecessary involvement of too many contractors in the construction work.

Dismissing the allegations of irregularities, Superintendent Engineer of Dhaka circle Fakrul Alam Talukdar said there is no major problem in the road and it will be opened to traffic by June.