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Sunamganj bridge project complete : Cost goes up to Tk 711m from Tk 230m

9Construction of the 402-metre bridge over Surma river in Sunamganj district town is nearing completion and is expected to be opened for vehicular traffic by August this year.

The works are already complete and we are now giving finishing touch on the bridge, said the Executive engineer of the Roads & Highways, Sunamganj Anwarul Amin Thursday.

However, due to dilly-dallying of the department, the works had remained suspended for years and it took 9 years, against the targeted 2 years.

But the cost of the project had to be raised to Tk 711.9 million against the initial allocation of Tk 230 million.

‘Construction of Bridge over Surma River’ project was taken up in 2005-2006 at a cost of Tk 230 million, but on completion of 50 per cent, it was dropped mysteriously from the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in 2012.

Officials declined saying the reason while a number of locals alleged it had been dropped for political reasons only, since the project was initiated by the BNP-led regime.

As the works remained suspended for over 3 years, the locals raised the demand for completion of the construction. The then Additional Chief Engineer of the R & H drew the attention of higher authority and stressed the need for completion of the much-desired bridge. Otherwise, the total expenditure would have been wasted, the official mentioned in his letter.

Accordingly, the project was redesigned as a project worth Tk 670 million with a target to completing works by June 2013.  But, the works again went stumbled due to delay in fund placement, delay in land filling on approaches and the contractors’ apathy etc.

However, the executive engineer told this correspondent, works are almost complete by now and hopefully it would be ready for traffic by August. The length is raised to 402.61 metres from the original 367 metres, said and he added, the cost also went up.

The middle span of the bridge (steel truss) was imported from China, he said.

Asked about the delay, Additional Chief Engineer of the R&H, Sylhet zone Iftekhar Kabir said once the project had remained suspended for years it took much for reviving the whole job. Anyway, after all odds and changes, the bridge is almost ready now.

It would open a new era for the communication for upazilas like Biswambharpur, Tahirpur, Madhyanagar, Jamalganj etc, the senior official added.