Monday, 23 May, 2022

‘Swadhinata Stambha’ project still limping

Project revision likely

Construction work of Swadhinata Stambha project, including setting up the murals of ‘Bangabandhu’ and the ‘surrender of Pakistani forces’ at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital, is yet to be completed despite the prime minister’s directive to quickly implement the project.

The third phase of the project started in January 2018 and was supposed to be completed by December 2020 before the golden jubilee celebration of the country’s independence.

At a power point presentation at the Prime Minister’s Office on November 27 in 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinadirected quick implementation of the monument building projects, including the third phase project worth Tk 2.65 billion.

The project was taken to build underground parking space for 500 vehicles, set up murals of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and surrender of Pakistan army and construct walkways, underpasses, seven food kiosks, a mosque, two substations for electricity and flower shops.    

During a recent visit to the park, it was seen that development work of underground parking, a mosque and walkways is yet to be completed while the murals of Bangabandhu and surrender of Pakistani forces were not seen.

Representatives of the contractor of the development work, National Development Engineers Ltd (NDE) said that they were facing multiple problems in completing the work and the project may be revised.

Talking to the Daily Sun, NDE Deputy General Manager Kamarul Hasan claimed that 90 percent of the development work is completed and the project may be revised as some additional work, including setting up of a boundary wall, needs to be done, and Shahbagh Police Station and a dumping yard need to be shifted from the park.

“The 90 percent of construction work of the underground parking, mosque, and food kiosks is done while the construction work of the walkway will take a lit bit more time. We want to complete the work by June of the year,” he also said.

He also said that they could not complete construction of the flower market as the police are not shifting Shahbagh police and the dumping yard from the park.

“Under the project, we are supposed to construct 22 shops but we are now working to construct eight shops.  The ministry of Liberation of War has sent many letters to Home Ministry to shift the police station in the last three years,” he also said.

Moudud Hawlader, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station, said, “As there is an acute shortage of space, the Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed not to shift the police station and handing over the additional space to the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs in the last meeting of two ministries.”

When the correspondent called Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM MozammelHaque over the phone to know the reason for the delay, he directed the correspondent to contact the director of the project Habibul Islam.

However, the project director cannot be reached over the phone despite repeated calls.