A skid steer loader, three rollers, and three small trucks worth nearly Tk3 crore cumulatively have been lying idle and unprotected in Chatkhil Upazila of Noakhali for years.
A lack of utilisation and maintenance has severely damaged the state-owned machines.
According to locals, the skid steer loader worth around Tk70 lakh has been lying idle in front of the Chatkhil Upazila Parishad Mosque for more than two years.
Alauddin, who lives some 100 metres away from the loader, said, "In the last two years, I have never seen the machine being used. It is quite frustrating to see such an expensive machine just rotting away like that."
The three small trucks worth around Tk1.20 crore can be spotted a little farther away from the mosque. They too have never been used.
Rubel Mia, who owns a store just beside one of the trucks, said that in the last five years, the truck has not been put to use.
The three rollers have had the same fate as that of the trucks and the skid steer loader.
One of the rollers lies in front of the Chatkhil Women Degree College and many parts of the machine are visibly missing. The other roller has been lying idle at the Upazila Parishad premises for the last two years.
The last roller, which has lain idle for some 15 years, was seen being taken care of somewhat as a tea stall has been set up around it.
Mohammad Ibrahim, the tea stall owner, said, "The roller has been lying here since 2006. As my shop is situated around the roller, it is still somewhat intact. Otherwise, parts of it would have gone missing long ago."
Several locals have expressed frustration about the worsening condition of the machines. They believe that letting the machines become unusable like this has not only been a waste of government money but has also deprived the locals of the benefits that could have been obtained if they had been put to good use.
To get the entire picture, this correspondent contacted several upazila authorities about the state of the machines.
The mayor of the municipality, Md Nizam Uddin, said the machines had already been there when he took office.
"There is no garage in the municipality to keep the machines, which is why they have placed around in a scattered manner. Recently, instructions have been given for a listing of the machines; and we will take necessary steps regarding them soon," he added.
The former mayor of the municipality, Mohammad Ullah Patwary, said, "When I was in office, I sent a letter to the municipality secretary about the skid steer loader but as I did not receive a response, I could not do anything about it."
About the skid steer loader, Altaf Hossain, secretary of Chatkhil Municipality, said the skid steer loader was not purchased with the municipality's money.
"The loader was sent to our area from the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives in 2018. Recently we requested the ministry to repair the machine," he added.
But Hossain could not give a satisfactory answer when asked about the state of the trucks and rollers.