SYLHET, Dec 31: Misuse of public funds by some officials at the Project Implementation Office at Shulla upazila in Sunamganj in the name of construction of bridges at remote villages has been detected.
Sources said, due to the remote locations, senior government officials do not pay field visits to such areas regularly, which creates scope for implementing unnecessary schemes with public money by some officials.
Six bridges were constructed at a cost of Tk 15 million in the upazila in 2015-2016. Of them three are already unusable due to absence of approach roads, locals alleged. In the same way two out of four such culverts, each of maximum 40-foot length constructed in 2016-2017 are unusable, alleged a number of locals.
Besides, two out of the three bridges constructed in 2017-2018 are considered unusable by the inhabitants of the locality.
Two more bridges built in 2018-2019 are of no use already.
On the other hand, such bridges had caused obstacle for the plying of boats due to low height at places, alleged a number of locals. Even such structures often cause minor accidents.
A bridge, having no road has been constructed at Habibpur Haor. In the same way a culvert has been constructed Sukhlaine Notunhati like two others built at Mamudnagar, locals said.
An official, however, said such schemes are selected in consultation with the local elected representatives. He admitted construction of unnecessary culverts at places for what he termed 'local pressure.'
Atgaon union parishad Chairman Abul Kashem Azad said construction of a small culvert is going over a canal while process is on for construction of a large bridge nearby with a targeted cost of Tk 30 million. It is just a misuse of money, he maintained
Shulla upazila chairman Al Amin Chowdhury said construction of unnecessary schemes in on at places by misusing public funds.
He would soon bring the matter to the notice of higher authority, he said.