Business Today

Proposed ‘unusual’ spending on safe road projects

The government is taking a project costing Tk 4,315 crore to reduce road accidents. The proposed project will cost Tk 440 crore behind the consultant and Tk 164 crore to buy software, which the Planning Commission says is unusual. The project they sent back.

Concerned people say that there is no need to hire consultants at such a huge cost in the work that has been talked about under the project to reduce road accidents. The project includes 8,000 km of road risk assessment (i-rap assessment) and medium-sized works, driver training, free ambulance service to the injured, treatment of the injured in three hospitals, improvement of winding roads and improvement of signal system. Etc. will be worked.
The project titled ‘Bangladesh Road Safety’ is to be implemented from January 2022 to December 2028. A meeting of the Planning Commission was held in mid-March on the project. There it is reviewed and sent back. The project was sent to the Planning Commission by the Ministry of Road Transport for approval process.

When asked, Planning Commission member Mamun Al Rashid told Prothom Alo, “Their goal and objective is to reduce the number of road deaths. We do not see any reason for so many consultants. There can be no rationale for such an unusual cost. ‘

The project is being implemented by the Department of Roads and Highways (RHD), Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Highway Police and the Department of Health. According to the project proposal, Rs 3,000 crore of the project cost has been pledged as a loan from the World Bank. The government will pay the remaining 1,315 crore.

Five to six thousand people die in accidents in the country every year. According to the Road Safety Foundation, a non-government organization, there were 5,381 road accidents in the country in 2021. It killed 6,264 people and injured 6,046. According to the Road Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering, the amount of damage caused by road accidents in 2021 was around Tk 36,000 crore.