Staff Correspondent: Some have defective wooden doors. Plastic doors are also of poor quality. Some of the tiles are broken, not properly plastered. Most of the fittings, including toilets, are of poor quality. Due to the high front stairs, it is difficult for the elderly to climb. This picture is of the model mosques built in different parts of the country. Not only the construction defects, but also the selection of the site is controversial. A model mosque has been constructed in a place that has multiple mosques nearby. As a result, the expected worshipers are not meeting to pray. Various activities are supposed to be conducted in mosques including Quran memorization of students, digital registration of pilgrims, but they are missing.
This image of the model mosque has appeared in the official report itself. The report was prepared by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning. IMED appointed Development Technical Consultants (Pvt.) Ltd. (DTCL) as a consultant to prepare the report. The consultancy firm visited 175 sample model mosques out of 560 model mosques. It shows the bad picture of model mosque construction.
A visit to the Godagari model mosque in Rajshahi shows that the wooden doors are defective. The four plastic doors are of poor quality. There is a danger of the window glass falling off in case of storms. Again, the model mosque that has been constructed at Chandina in Comilla is 10 km away from the upazila administration in the area adjacent to Madhya Bazar.
There are three other mosques in the vicinity of the mosque. As there is not much population in the area adjacent to the market, the number of worshipers praying in the model mosque is less. The mosque has been inaugurated but the work of stairs and tiles is yet to be done. The color work is also not completely finished. Apart from prayers, the other work of the project has not yet started. Chandpur district sadarupazila model mosque inspection, it can be seen that the columns of the mosque have not been cast properly. Brick quality is also poor.
According to the IMED report, the tiles used in the model mosque built at Biral in Dinajpur were broken. Panchari Model Mosque of Khagrachari is not painted properly in some places. Some parts of the building are not plastered properly. Inconsistency in doors and windows. Many bathrooms have no faucets, no flush toilets, no proper sewage system. There is a short circuit on the south side. The switches are not standardized. The mihrab of the mosque was not according to the drawing. Water accumulates on the roof. Parking tiles not coated.
Type C model mosque and Islamic cultural center were visited in Lalmohanupazila of Bhola district. The plaster of the mosque is of poor quality. Bathroom fittings are in poor condition. A crack in the wall. Tiles are not placed correctly.
IMED got such a picture during the on-site inspection of most of the mosques of the project to establish a total of 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centers in each district and upazila of the country.
IMED Secretary Abul Kashem Mohiuddin told Daily Industry, ‘We have inspected the project and made a report on the ground. A copy of the report has also been sent to the concerned department. We will have a meeting on this matter. I would like to know the things by recommending separately. It will be asked what the next step will be.
“Reporting in the form of a book does not do much. Many people take books and keep them. Meeting and sending letters will do some work. We will also recommend that the same disruption not be repeated. We will also want to know why the quality of construction of model mosque is bad.
According to the project source, as a Muslim-dominated country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s 2014 election manifesto was to build model mosques with facilities for Islamic activities in every district and upazila of the country. On April 25, 2017, ECNEC meeting approved the project (second revised) to establish a total of 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centers in each district and upazila. Islamic Foundation is implementing the project.
It is known that initially the project was to be implemented with the help of the Saudi government. But even after one year of the project period, the foreign aid did not come. The project was first revised on June 26, 2018, with the reason for the revision being that the project will be implemented entirely through the government’s own funding. In the case of A-type mosque, a four-storied mosque with a four-storied base will be constructed instead of a five-storied base, in the case of a B-type mosque, a three-storied mosque with a three-storied base instead of a four-storied mosque, and in the case of a C-type mosque, a four-storied mosque with a four-storied base will be constructed instead of a five-storied one. Then the project period was first revised from April 2017 to June 2022 at a cost of Tk 8,722 crore. On December 7, 2021, due to the inability to complete the work within the stipulated period, the second revision of the project was extended to June 2024 at a cost of Tk 9,435 crore and the project was revised on December 7, 2021.
The project is being implemented in 495 upazilas of 64 districts of eight divisions of the country. From the beginning of the project to April 2023, the financial progress is 55.16 percent and the actual progress is 60 percent. So far, a total of 200 model mosques have been inaugurated after the construction work. Although the project is being implemented by Islamic Foundation, the works are being carried out by the Directorate of Public Works. One fiscal year is left for the project to expire. IMED feels that it is difficult to complete the rest of the project in such a short period of time.
According to the report, if there is a plan to make Quran memorization of students in the model mosque, digital registration of Hajj pilgrims, religious calling activities of mosque imams and muezzins at the local level, they are not being done.
The weak point of the project is that the feasibility of the project was not verified at the beginning, according to the report. There were problems with land acquisition. Place selection was not correct in some cases. Slow construction is a major problem. All the facilities of the mosque are not fully utilized. Many mosques do not have connecting roads. Lack of adequate manpower and monitoring was observed. In addition, it has been reported that it will be dangerous for elderly worshipers to enter the mosque as the stairs in front are very high.
About 1,750 people took part in the survey by consulting firm DTCIL. 72 percent of them think that the site selection for the construction of the model mosque was not correct. They think it would have been better if the mosque was next to the main road. 37 percent said the quality of work was not very good, it was fair.
If you want to know about this, the project director Najibur Rahman told, “There may be errors in some places. In some places, if the fittings and tiles are of poor quality, we fix them. I will fix where it is damaged. It is not a major issue. We have already received the IMED report. I am working accordingly.
Forgetting to select a place, some model mosques do not meet the desired worshipers? In response to this question, the project director said, “The land was selected by the district administrator and the local representative.” we are working We have no involvement in the selection of the place.
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