Construction of Shahbagh underpass yet to startFerdous Ara
The construction of Shahbagh underpass is yet to start while the work was scheduled to start on December 15, 2012.
The working people of the Shahbagh area, who face acute problem daily in the absence of any footbridge or underpass in the area, have alleged that the construction work has not started yet though the foundation stone was laid eight months back.
Earlier, on November 26, 2012 Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operative Division state minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak laid the foundation stone of the underpass at the busiest intersection of the capital, Shahbagh intersection.
Nanak also committed that the underpass construction would start on December 15, 2012 and would be finished within six months.
But no major initiatives was taken Dhaka South City Corporation in the last eight months to fulfill the longstanding demand of Dhaka University students for an underpass at Shahbagh, alleged residents of that area.
Dhaka University economics student Rahat Alamin told New Age they laid a two-hour siege of Shahbagh in September 2012 pressing five-point demands including construction of an underpass or a footbridge at the intersection.
The protest was sparked by the death of an international relations student, Touhiduzzaman, in August 2012 after being run over by a bus at the intersection, he said.
Rahat said the students withdrew their siege after the then DSCC chief executive officer Md Sultan ul Islam Chowdhury said they would build a footbridge at the crossing within 15 days.
After some days, administrator Zillar Rahman approved the Tk 3 crore projects on November 20, 2012, he said.
Rana Haque, a salesman of Aziz Super Market, told New Age that when LGRD minister laid the foundation stone of the underpass, people of this area and specially DU students, who are in most need of the structure, thought finally a longstanding demand was going to be fulfilled but in reality nothing was done in the past eight months.
DSCC officials, seeking anonymity, blamed negligence of the officials concerned and frequent transfer of administrators for the delay of the construction work.
They said the underpass would be single line due to MRT-6 project and CASE project.
They also criticised that there were many projects of communication ministry, LGRD and DSCC on Shahbagh.
However, DSCC chief engineer Jahangir Alam told New Age that they had just got approval from the DSCC administrator for the work order.
He said they took too much time to select contractor as no one was interested to do the underpass work in such a busy intersection but at last they got a company.
Jahangir said the main obstacle was that in the project area there are Dhaka Power Development Corporation cable and supply line of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority.
He said the DSCC sent letters to these organisations to relocate their connections.
The DSCC also prepared the layout of the underpass and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology approved it.
The chief engineer said from the end of August they would start construction of the one way Shahbagh underpass and it would not take more than six months to complete.
He also added that the length of the underpass would be 50 metres and interconnect only two sides of the road between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and National Museum.
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