Ministers slam RHD officials for poor road planning, maintenance

Two ministers today came down heavily on the officials of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) for poor planning and maintenance of roads that causing people's suffering and wasting public money. At one point of his speech, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said he would stop allocation for new project if they failed to ensure effective use of allocated money. State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid demonstrated a powerpoint presentation to show the poor design of roads and lack of maintenance.

Road Transport and Highway Division Secretary Nazrul Islam and several other RHD officials tried to give some replies about the allegations but apparently failed to convince them. They were speaking at a seminar on "Life Time of Highways: Challenge and What Need to Be Done" at Planning Ministry which was organised by RHD. In his keynote speech, AK Mohammad Fazlul Karim said 73 per cent passengers and 82 per cent goods are carried by roads in the country.

Controlling overloading, proper maintenance and proper drainage system are the main conditions to ensure lifetime of road and they face challenges to fulfil those conditions. He also mentioned the soil condition of the country is a major reason behind the poor longevity of roads. Saying that five per cent overloading can reduce the life time of the road by 18 per cent, he said the lifetime of a road could not be ensured unless overloading could be controlled.

Fazlul Karim said they got only 15 to 20 per cent of their demands for annual maintenance and proper maintenance is not possible with that amount. 

He mentioned that they got Tk 2228.91 crore against the demand of TK 11,884 crore in 2018-19 fiscal year.

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