11 km long road of Kuakata highway is going to be renovated after 8 years

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Kazi Mamun

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Eati Akter

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Due to litigation complications, this part of the road from Pakhimara Bazar to Alipur Bridge in Kalapara Upazila was not renovated after 2014. Recently, due to the end of the complications of the case, an initiative has been taken to reform this road. The Patuakhali Roads and Township (Soaz) Department said that the renovation work will begin within the next couple of months at a cost of about 18 crore rupees. According to sources of Patuakhali Soaz, Patuakhali Road Department undertook the road renovation work of 11 km from Pakhimara to Alipur on Patuakhali Kuakata Road in 2011. Rupsa Engineers Limited of Khulna was appointed as the contractor for that part. The cost is estimated at 20 crores. After paying Tk 12 crore to the contractor, the road department withheld the remaining Tk 8 crore on the allegation of using substandard materials in the renovation work. When asked to renovate as per schedule conditions, the contractor refused.
A separate investigation by Souz found the truth of the allegations of using substandard materials in road works. The inquiry committee later objected to the payment of the contractor’s final bill. In this situation, Rashedur Rahman, director of the contracting company Rupsa Engineers Limited, filed a petition in the High Court in 2014. In view of this, the court imposed a ban on the renovation work on the road. Recently, the High Court has withdrawn the ban, so the road has been blocked. Ever since the inauguration of the Padma Bridge, local and foreign tourists come to Kuakata Beach every day. Considering the importance of trade and local people’s travel, this part of the road is dilapidated and the tourists from far away and local passengers have to suffer. Local buses, autorickshaws, hired bikes and various types of engine driven drivers demand that if the widening of several curved roads on the Patuakhali Kuakata highway is completed, the death march on this highway will be reduced. Riaz Uddin Mridha, President of Patuakhali District Bus Owners Association said, ‘The 11 km road from Pakhimara to Alipur of Patuakhali-Kuakata road has been in dilapidated condition for 8 years. This disrupts traffic and inconveniences passengers. I hope that the suffering of passengers will be reduced as the road department takes the initiative to reform this time. Patuakhali road department executive engineer AM Atiqullah said, “This is an important highway. Although its renovation is necessary, we have not been able to refurbish the 11 km section so far due to the court ban. Recently, as the court ban was lifted, we prepared an estimate of Tk 17 crore and sent it to the higher authorities for approval. We hope that the renovation work can be started within a couple of months and once the renovation work of that part of the road is completed, all types of vehicles will be able to move on the 300 km road from Kuakata to Dhaka. will be seamless.

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Kazi Mamun

Costal Corrsepondent

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