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Road signs to cost millions!

FHM HUMAYAN KABIR | February 15, 2020 00:00:00

The Roads and Highways Department, or RHD, has proposed spending Tk 0.7 million for marking road signs and signals for each kilometre of a 27km-long highway, officials said.

They said the state-run road developer has set aside nearly Tk 18.90 million for installing relevant signs and markers along the highway to be linked with the Padma Bridge approach road from Shariatpur.

The department has sought approval for the Shariatpur-Janjira-Padma Bridge approach road (Naodoba) district road widening project at a cost of Tk 16.82 billion from the Planning Commission.

According to the project proposal, the department has earmarked Tk 1.53 million for traffic signs, Tk 0.85 million for sign posts, Tk 0.24 million for kilometre post, Tk 8.03 million for direction sign, Tk 5.84 million for guide post, and Tk 2.40 million for 'directional line' on the road.

A RHD official said that the department would widen the road to smoothen communications towards the Padma Bridge approach road on the Janjira side with the district town Shariatpur.

Since the existing road is narrow, it will be widened for an uninterrupted traffic movement, he added.

When asked, the official said the cost for such work is usually kept as a "block allocation" in the development project proposal.

A Commission official said the allocations proposed for marking each kilometre of road and traffic signs are not realistic.

He said the costs for widening the road does also appear higher than those of other projects.

The RHD official said the land the RHD has proposed to acquire for the project eats up 72.5 per cent of the total project cost.

Of the total cost, the RHD has sought 12.18 billion for acquiring 105 hectres of land, he added.

Another official said the RHD has also earmarked Tk 0.30 million for giving honorarium to the project meeting participants, an additional Tk 0.3 million for functions (road inauguration ceremony), Tk 0.20 million for purchasing two computers, Tk 0.50 million for cutting the trees on the road, and Tk 1.0 million for planting trees on the highway.

Former economic adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said the project proposal should be prepared based on proper feasibility study and with realistic cost estimates.

He said such expenditures for the less-priority work should be avoided to check wastage of public funds.


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