Parts of the 32-kilometre Bangabandhu Highway in Sylhet have already started to collapse even though the road is still under construction.
Cracks have appeared in several places of the road and roadside blocks have collapsed and dislocated the soil.
The road is located near several significant infrastructures including the first cyber city of the country "Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City" and the country's largest stone quarry in Bholaganj.
It is constantly used by heavy trucks to transport stones and there also is regular movement of passenger vehicles. But the collapsed sections of the highway have compromised the safety of these vehicles.
There are allegations of low-quality construction work, which is responsible for the road's damage.
The road, also known as the Sylhet-Bholaganj road, is one of the busiest roads in Sylhet but it used to be severely damaged. In 2016, it was upgraded to a national highway and its renovation began.
Initially, the construction cost of the road was estimated at more than Tk441 crore and it was supposed to be completed by February 2018. But until July 2021, the project has already spent Tk509 crore and it is yet to be completed, even after receiving multiple extensions.
Minister for expatriate welfare and overseas employment Imran Ahmed, who is a member of the parliament from the area, inspected the road in 2019.
After expressing displeasure over the condition of the road, the minister sought explanations from the higher authorities of the Roads and Highways Department and urged them to take immediate actions.
But two years later, different parts of the roads have now collapsed.
Syeduzzaman, a secondary school teacher in Companiganj, said large cracks were seen in the main part of the road in the high-tech park area of the Sylhet-Bholaganj road last year. A few days later, the damaged part was rebuilt.
But such cracks and block collapse recurrently appear on the road, he said. He observed that the regular cracks indicate low-quality construction.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Companiganj Sumon Acharya said he inspected the newly collapsed part of the Bangabandhu highway and contacted the Roads and Highways Department and contractors at the Spectra Engineers, the construction company responsible for the construction of the road, urging them to repair the part as soon as possible.
Mostafizur Rahman, executive engineer, Roads and Highways Department, Sylhet, said that almost 90% work of the road has already been completed.
He said he has contacted the contractor concerned about the collapsed section of the road and added that the contractors have already started the repairs.
"We will take immediate actions if we find any irregularities," Rahman added.
The Business Standard tried to contact the company in charge of the construction of the road for a comment in this regard but could not reach them.