Dhaka,  Tuesday
25 June 2024

JnU new Campus Project

Building being constructed on fragile foundations

Nur Elahi Imran, JnU

Published: 07:40, 21 May 2024

Update: 14:35, 21 May 2024

Building being constructed on fragile foundations

Photo: Messenger

Jagannath University (JnU) new campus construction project in Keraniganj, Dhaka is underway. Irregularities and corruption are emerging one after another in various works of the project which has been running for 6 years. Under the new campus project, the construction of a 5-storey engineering and planning office building is underway. But the piling of the building is being installed in the dark of night in utmost secrecy. By installing 30-35 feet piles instead of 55 feet, the work is completed quickly. The building is weakly built from its foundation.

The piling work of the 5-storey engineering building of the new campus is going on. A 55 feet concrete pile has been made for the foundation of this building. They are being hammered deep into the ground. However, more than 80 percent of the piles are not driven 55 feet deep into the soil. Around 30-35 feet of the pile was inserted and the rest was found to have collapsed.

According to the engineering department of the university, piling work of the building has been done in the dark of the night. Each pile is driven 30 feet or 35 feet and the rest is broken.

Every day where a hammer can drive 3 piles, 10-12 piles have been inserted there. Although this happened, the department did not keep their eyes on the contractor at first. Contractor Rumi and Chief Engineer of university, both being from Chandpur, Rumi has been getting benefits for many years. He is doing 80 percent of the project by his own company and sometimes hiring the license of another company. Meanwhile, the piling of the engineering building is being built weakly since it is less than half at the place of 55 feet.

Meanwhile, after knowing about the situation, the vice-chancellor professor Dr Sadeka Halim summoned the Chief Engineer, and sent the new Campus Oversight Committee to the ground. Later, if the image of pile not entering properly is found true, engineers of Buet have been ordered to test the soil. However, about three and a half hundred piles were supposed to be installed for the building, and most of the piles were installed in a half-inserted state before the incident came to light. As many as 220 piles are said to have been installed.

The official estimate price of the tender is Tk 56,47,45,070. Two tenders were sold in the call for tenders for this work. Among them, the company named NDE and KBL jointly paid Tk 61,55,43,437 to work on it. On the other hand, two companies named SSL and RS jointly paid Tk 6,18,99,347. NDE-KBL company did not get the tender even with a low price of Tk 34 lakh. It is known from the Engineer's office that the NDE company was excluded for trivial reasons even though it was supposed to get the tender as per the rules due to the low rate. A tender cycle formed in the university including Chief Engineer, PD and ex-Treasurer gives SSLO-RS the charge of the work. Omar Farooq Rumi, the contractor of the chief engineer's own district, is working on this tender.

Chief engineer of JnU Helal Uddin Patwari said, “Although the piles are supposed to be 55 feet, it is not possible to insert them completely due to the hardness of the soil. Initially the contractor did not inform us about this. It has been mistake from them. Later after knowing we did soil test again. That report also found evidence of solidification of the soil.’

He also said that two tenders were dropped in this project. However, the company which had given the lowest rate got the tender, the rest did not get the tender as they could not fulfill all the requirements.

Rumi said, “The issue of 30 feet piling is a completely baseless allegation. Piling of 55 feet is being done as per the rules. There is no scope for irregularities. You can measure it if you want.”

JnU Treasurer Professor Dr. Humayun Kabir Chowdhury said, “I will call the Chief Engineer and talk about the matter. I will also talk to the Vice-Chancellor. If the pile is not inserted in the perfect place, it remains risky. We will take necessary action regarding this.”