The public administration ministry wants to buy a number of two-tonne air-conditioners (AC) for Tk2 lakh each for installation at proposed circuit houses at Gopalganj and at Madaripur. The ministry has listed this figure for the ACs in its project proposal.
Though the current market price of such ACs of reputed brands is between Tk55 thousand to Tk1 lakh, the ministry wants buy 162 ACs for the circuit houses at the aforementioned price, spending Tk3.24 crore.
Moreover, the construction cost of 606 metres of boundary walls for the circuit houses has been fixed at Tk1.89 crore.
So, the expense per metre comes to more than Tk31 thousand, according to the proposal.
Furthermore, Tk1.20 crore has been proposed for two kitchens in the circuit houses.
Then comes the cost of buying furniture for the VIP and VVIP rooms in the circuit houses. The amount set for this is Tk9 crore.
The proposal is now awaiting approval by the Planning Commission, which has raised objections to the excessive expenditure in its summary on the proposal.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be Tk81.83 crore.
The project, which will be implemented by the Public Works Department (PWD), is supposed to begin in December and end by 2021.
During a market visit, our correspondent found that the price of a Sharp brand AC is Tk92 thousand, Whirlpool brand AC is Tk95.9 thousand, Walton AC Tk56.9 thousand to Tk76.4 thousand and General brand AC is Tk1 lakh.
A two-tonne Singer AC costs Tk81.95 thousand while LG AC is around Tk1 lakh.
Uday Hakim, executive director of the Walton Group, told The Business Standard that no two-tonne AC costs Tk2 lakh in Bangladesh. If the price of such an AC was shown to be Tk2 lakh, then it is much higher than the actual price, he said.
Again, the construction cost per square metre of the six-storey circuit houses has been set at Tk515, which is much higher than that of on-going or recently completed projects, according to the Planning Commission.
In a similar project of the Cumilla circuit house, the construction cost has been set at Tk381 per square metre.
Besides, the unit price for construction of 50 office-cum-residences for circle assistant superintendents of police was Tk333 per square metre.
The commission has also questioned the amount set for construction.