Paper No. 30-17
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
THE STATUS OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY: CONSTRAINTS ON INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH
In recent years, megacity Dhaka is known to have one of the fastest urban population growths in Bangladesh. The population in Dhaka and other megacities has increased from 7 to 50 million during the last four decades. The rapid rate of urban population growth, along with the extreme paucity of real-estate for new infrastructure development or upgrading existing facilities, is already exacerbating the situation for the city planners and exerting tremendous pressure to come-up with viable solutions. Although practice of engineering geology, geotechnical exploration, and testing exists in Bangladesh; the system has still yet to adopt controlled quality standards with unified and professionally acceptable methods. There is a dire need for accessing shallow borehole data via a central depository system in order to initiate, reassess and provide sound geoengineering recommendations for any contemplated capital construction projects. A well-coordinated system involving city agencies and private sectors can ease the situation for effecting communication regarding knowledge-sharing and keeping involved geotechnical personnel informed about already acquired data. Several development projects of the country received finance from various sources and were monitored by various agencies with prescribed methodology for execution and implementation. This diversity of funding, ownership and oversight of the projects has put the geotechnical exploration and testing system into challenging state in Bangladesh. Integration of pertinent geomorphic, regional geology, bedrock, water table and soil data will certainly aid understanding the constraints associated with any subsurface construction. Mega cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong will require intense modification in order to accommodate urban facilities, including installation of a multilevel transportation system with underground space utilization. On a positive note, the megacity of Dhaka has suitable natural ground conditions typified by sound geoengineering parameters. Standard geotechnical exploration coupled with assessment of geomorphic and geotechnical attributes will augment existing data to characterize geological materials and prepare detailed engineering/geotechnical reports to be used for design and capital construction projects.