The Rajshahi office of LGED has ordered the builders to stop their work immediately, but that directive is being completely ignored.
Locals claimed that in order to hide the poor quality of the construction materials, the contractors were carrying out their work in the dark of the night; the builders, however, said the after-hour works were being done to meet a deadline.
People in the area said they have collectively tried several times to stop the use of mud and bamboo in building the approach road, but the contractors have resumed their work every single time.
In the past, the under-construction road has collapsed on two separate occasions, forcing work to stop, locals said.
The contractors deny all allegations against them.
Abdus Salam, the owner of one of the assigned firms called Ms Salam Construction Firm, said any soil being used by them was not stabilising the road as there was no soil layer – even up to 60 feet of depth – on both sides of the approach road.
Saying the contractors were initially not interested in undertaking the work here, Salam said they changed their mind after the LGED requested to do the job. The plan is to finish the task within a couple of days, he said.
However, Golam Mostafa, the executive engineer (exchange) of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) office in Rajshahi, told the Dhaka Tribune that the contractors have been told to immediately stop construction of the road as they were using mud as building material.
Instead, they have been instructed to use quality and sturdy soil to ready the road, Mostafa said.
Tanore LGED Engineer Abdullah Al Mamun also said there was no chance of any irregularity in the project as the contractors would be accountable for completing their work within schedule.
In 2012, the bridge over Shib River was constructed for a cost of Tk3.95 crore. A year later, a tender was floated for the 1.45km approach road. Although Ms Farid Construction won the bid, a total six firms are currently doing the work on the road.
The cost for the approach road was revised from Tk5.5 crore to Tk6.5 crore as work did not finish in time. The contractors are now allegedly rushing to meet a June 30 deadline, and in the process using sub-par materials to wrap up the work.