The biggest reason behind these delays is the Covid-19 pandemic.
Work for Padma bridge is ongoing and almost done. Work for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel underwater expressway (or Karnaphuli Tunnel) is almost finished as far as I know. Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project is also making progress. Construction work of JICA funded Matarbari LNG based 600MW power plant is also ongoing.
Naturally, the costs increase if a project cannot be finished on time. That is why we always try to finish projects on time. But even after trying we cannot always achieve this. This is not the case just for Bangladesh but for all countries around the world.
Perhaps it is more prevalent in a country like ours but finishing mega projects on time is indeed very challenging. Things like procurement [of materials and equipment] from abroad can cause delays.
For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic [particularly at the onset], shipping was severely hampered. There was a shortage of containers and naturally these challenges were not predictable. And thus, not factored in, but things like this do happen.
Getting things done on time is ideal, but we do not always get to work in ideal situations. If project time overruns, naturally project cost also overruns.
Work at various projects had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. Foreigners had not been involved in a lot of our projects after the Holey Artisan terrorist attack . Many left after the attack, only to return after a long hiatus. This also caused project delays.
No project is being delayed too long at the moment, work of all [mega] projects are ongoing quite smoothly.
Disclaimer: Mohammad (Mejbah) Mejbahuddin spoke to The Business Standard's Nasif Tanjim over phone. This article is an excerpt of the conversation.