Accident on BRT Project: Chinese contractor responsible for the incident

Dhaka, Bangladesh:

An investigation committee has found that the Chinese contractor was responsible for the crash of girders of the Bud Rapid Transit (BRT) project here which killed five people, reported India Blooms.

One contractor worked for the China Gezhuba Group Co Ltd. Another Chinese company, Jiangsu Provincial Transportation Engineering Group Co Ltd, is the contractor for the BRT’s aerial part.

The probe has recommended punishment to the contractor but left it to the government to decide if the contract should be cancelled or the contractor should be blacklisted.

The committee submitted its report to the Road Transport Secretary on Thursday.

The Bus Rapid Transit project has been a source of suffering for people travelling around a key road through Dhaka’s Uttara to Gazipur since its inception, reported BD News24

The jailed crane operator, Al Amin Hossain Hriday, was among those interviewed for the report. The statements of 10 Chinese nationals were also taken. The report noted that they were grossly uncooperative, reported India Bloom.

Although 10 Bangladeshis were arrested for the accident, no action was taken against any Chinese contractor.

Claims of mismanagement have dogged the project since the start. The government started the project in 2012 in an effort to mitigate the traffic logjam on the Dhaka to Tongi and Gazipur routes. It was initially supposed to be completed in 2016. The date was later pushed to December this year.

However, the construction work on the project was only 65 per cent complete in July 2021. In the meantime, the authorities have done little to reduce the suffering it caused and address public safety issues over the years.

Recently, when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his desire to visit Dhaka in the first week of August, his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen categorically asked him to reschedule his visit due to his scheduled official engagements in New York and Cambodia, Bangladesh Live News reported citing Daily Star.

Momen conveyed to Wang through diplomatic channels that he should arrive in Bangladesh in the second week of August.

Earlier in May 2021, the Bangladesh government gave China’s envoy to Dhaka, Li Jiming a soulful lecture and asked him to maintain “decency and decorum” after he warned Dhaka from a public platform to desist from joining the Quadrilateral Group.

“Obviously it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four because it will substantially damage our bilateral relationship,” China’s Ambassador to Dhaka, Li Jiming warned Bangladesh at a meeting organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association on May 12, 2021.

As expected, it was followed by the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry’s strongly-worded statement.

“As a sovereign country, Bangladesh will determine the course of its foreign policy in the interest of its people,” Momen said in a sharply worded riposte.

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