It is astonishing that the Sylhet-Tamabil- Jaflong road project used less than four percent of the budget in the two years since it was started. It is a four-year project taken up in 2017 and is supposed to be completed in 2021. And this road happens to be a part of the Asian Highway running through Bangladesh. Although on record the rate of ADP implementation has seen a spike in recent years, many of our large projects have suffered from both time and consequently cost overrun.
Planning inefficiency has been a major factor but the overall situation is compounded by fact that these projects do not get done as per plan. We are informed also that what is true of this project is true of the more than nearly 60 development projects taken up in the Sylhet division.
That managing a project is as important is often lost on those responsible for the implementation and completion of the projects. We wonder how one person can look after six projects, as is the situation obtaining in this instance—the gentleman in charge of this project also heads five other large projects.
What is also lost on the planners, too, is the fact that money on projects not spent timely is money wasted. And as the report shows, apart from implementation inefficiency, there is also allocational inefficiency in the project like setting aside Tk 2 crore for consultancy fee for constructing culverts!
If the planners are serious about getting the jobs done on time, such shoddy performance cannot be brooked. Works must proceed as per flow chart. And progress must be assessed more often than once a year to avoid such poor output. Project directors must not be overburdened and resources allotted for overseeing the projects must be utilised for that purpose only.