In 2019, the government took up a project to construct the first terminal of the Payra Sea Port and its related infrastructure.
The project was supposed to be completed by December 2021, but it has progressed only 8.17 percent till date.
The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) has found that the project directors spent most of their time in Dhaka instead of project areas.
"They seldom visit the site for inspection," said an IMED report.
Other than the Payra Sea Port, implementation of 66 other annual development projects has stumbled.
The IMED has found several irregularities in the implementation of 67 projects undertaken in Barishal division.
Planning Minister MA Mannan will hold an evaluation meeting with project directors today on the progress of implementation of the 67 projects.
A total of Tk 7,103 crore was allocated for the projects, according to the IMED report.
Of the projects, the progress of implementation of 29 is above 51 percent while the progress of 19 others ranged between 26 percent and 50 percent.
Thirteen projects have seen less than 25 percent progress while there was zero implementation progress in six.
One of the projects is the development of Rajapur-Patharghata highway undertaken by the Roads and Highways Department. The project was undertaken in July 2017 and is supposed to be completed by June this year.
The initial cost was estimated to be Tk 35 crore. Later, it was revised twice and the cost escalated to Tk 114.4 crore.
But only 53.09 percent of the work has been done.
Another project was undertaken to develop and widen highways in Barishal. The project was also revised twice and the cost had escalated to Tk 667.34 crore from Tk 75 crore. The project duration was between January 2018 and June 2021.
The IMED found that roads were widened without removing electricity poles in some places.
On the other hand, roads were damaged at many places due to excavation of soil from the roadside.
To save Tojumuddin upazila of Bhola from erosion of the Meghna river, a project was undertaken in July 2016 by the Water Development Board. The initial cost was Tk 99 crore but it later increased to Tk 609.38 crore after two revisions.
So far, 91.81 percent work has been done.
The IMED found that low-quality yellow stone chips were used to build blocks to build the embankment.
It has advised that the quality of concrete blocks and geo bags be maintained.
"To make the project successful, it is necessary to ensure dumping of geo bags and blocks in the right quantities at the right places, according to the project plan. Otherwise, there will be no benefit," recommends IMED.