The establishment of Kushtia Medical College and Hospital, originally a 3-year project, has not been completed in nine years! The project management now seeks more time and money to complete the work.
In this situation, the second amendment proposal of the project has been sent to the Planning Commission. The cost of the project, meanwhile, increased to Tk 682.46 crore from the original Tk 275.43 crore.
The physical progress of the present project is about 60 percent and the financial expenditure so far is said to be 40.19 percent.
Till December last year, Tk 245.58 crore has been spent. It is being implemented by the Directorate General of Health Services or DGHS.
Pradeep Ranjan Chakraborty, Secretary of Department of Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (IMED), said, “When the project was approved in 2012, the cost of the project was calculated as per the 2008 rate schedule. This was one of the many mistakes of the project. These mistakes lead to many complications later on. We have investigated the matter. The investigation report has been sent to the ministry from the highest level of the government.”
He said that the ministry concerned has to take the responsibility for the delay and so much money being spent on such a service-oriented project.
In this regard, an official of the Planning Commission said that the PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting was held on August 8 last year after receiving a proposal from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“It has been recommended to present the project at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) as the recommendations given at that meeting have been complied with,” he mentioned.
“If approved, it will be implemented by the DGHS by June 2023,” he added.
Nasima Begum, a member of the socio-economic infrastructure department of the Planning Commission, in charge of the project, said, “The second amendment has been proposed to complete the unfinished work of the project, including maintaining the continuity of construction of the proposed physical infrastructures. If this project is implemented, it will be possible to ensure better medical services to the people of Kushtia and its surrounding areas.”
However, the project proposal states that the main project was approved by the ECNEC on March 6, 2012, for implementation from January 2012 to December 2014 at an estimated cost of Tk 275.43 crore with full government funding.
The duration of the project was then extended to December 2015 in the first phase and to December 2017 in the second phase without any increase in cost.
After that, the first amendment proposal of the project was approved by ECNEC on June 21, 2018, by extending the implementation period of 3 years till December 2019 at an estimated cost of Tk 611.84 crore.
The implementation did not end there. As a result, the inter-sector coordination of the project was done in June 2019.
The Department of Activities extended the duration of the project for one year till December 2020 without increasing the cost of the project on June 22, 2020.
Subsequently, through the Second Amendment, the estimated cost of the project was Tk 742 crore and the term was fixed from January 2012 to December 2022.
The first Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting was held on March 12, 2020, on this proposal.
The second PEC meeting was held on 26 August 2020 due to non-compliance with the decision of the first PEC meeting on the Restructured Development Project Proposal (DPP).
In the light of the decision of the second PEC meeting, the reconstituted DPP was presented at the ECNEC meeting on January 5 this year. ECNEC was instructed to present.
Following the decision of the ECNEC meeting, an inquiry committee headed by the IMED secretary was formed on January 5.
On June 1, the IMED sent the investigation report to the health care department.
The reasons given in the revision of the project are as follows: Increase in scope and cost of construction work proposed under the project, reduction in land quantity and cost, increase in the cost of equipment, vehicles, MSR materials, and office materials, the addition of new code.
The main activities of the project are Acquisition of 28 acres of land, construction of 12,518.76 sq m hospital building, 2,470.17 sq m academic building, 1,005.29 sq m hostel building, 1,005.29 sq m female hostel building, 398.55 sq m Intern Doctor Dormitory Male, 398.55 sq m Intern Doctor Dormitory Female, 5 vehicles, collection of furniture and collection of medical equipment.