Addressing the press conference on Sunday, minister Quader said despite the fact that the company is responsible for the BRT accident, still firm was allowed to complete project work to save resources and time, The Daily Star reported.
The minister further added that the incident took place on August 15 and at that time 79 per cent of the project had been already completed.
“The decision was taken considering the asset and money of the country in mind because it would take several years if any new contractor is appointed for the work,” The Daily Star quoted the minister as saying.
“They [the Chinese contractor will complete the remaining 20 per cent work. After that the contractor will not be allowed to work in Bangladesh anymore,” he said.
On Saturday, five people including two children were crushed to death when a crane toppled over, making a segment of a viaduct fall on their car on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.
After the incident, a probe committee was formed led by Neelima Akhter, additional secretary of the Road Transport and Highway Division. After the investigation, the Chinese contractor, China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd, was held responsible for the negligence that caused the deaths.
However, they did not recommend any punitive action but revealed the findings of the probe on September 4 saying the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), the implementing authority of the project, will take action in line with the probe body’s findings, according to The Daily Star.
The project work resumed around one month after the tragedy.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh News Agency, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) reported Quader as saying that the BRT project has turned into a major issue for the government.
“There are some complications on this route. The project started before I took office. The current state of this project, which is in disarray, is a result of flawed planning. However, I’ve instructed the project officials to wrap it up at any cost so that we can open it in March-April next year,” he said.
He also informed the UNB that he rejected a proposal from the World Bank on a similar BRT project up to Sadarghat.
Quader, also General Secretary of the ruling Awami League (AL), added that in coming days, a total of 100 bridges will be inaugurated in different parts of the country by Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina in the coming days.
“The bridges will be opened whenever the PM can manage time. Before the inauguration, three rallies will be arranged in the Chattogram region, where most of the bridges have been constructed. The first phase of MRT Line-6 and Bangabandhu Tunnel will also be completed soon,” UNB quoted the minister as saying.
The minister also reaffirmed the government’s stance that electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the next general election held under the incumbent government.