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Corruption in BIWTC

Tk 36 lakh paid for Tk 1,200

Published : 17 Nov 2019 09:53 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 06:56 PM
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The level of corruption reached its height in Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation’s (BIWTC) ferry renovation project.

It is learnt that BIWTC implemented the taka eight crore project to renovate Roro ferry Shah Poran.

During renovation of the ferry, price of a cup seal (a positive seal used on cylinder pistons) was shown Tk 6 lakh whereas its actual market price is Tk 200.

BIWTC sources said even after submission of a written complaint by BIWTC employees union president, detailing the irregularities, authorities concerned did not take any step against persons involved in the corruption. 

According to sources, the complaint, submitted on February 6, 2013, was addressed to the chairman of BIWTC. Besides, copies of the complaint were also sent to chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission and secretary of Shipping Ministry.

But even after six years, no action has yet been taken, said concerned sources.In the complaint, submitted by BIWTC Employees Union president Md Emdad Hossain Dipu, it was alleged that Tk 36 lakh was paid to the contactor for installing six cup seals for renovating Roro ferry Shah Poran.

Talking to Bangladesh Post on Sunday, Emdad alleged that the rubber cup seals were made locally, each costing Tk 200 only. “So, price of six cup seals was Tk 1,200 only,” he added. 

But in the invoice of BIWTC, per cup seal costed Tk 6,00,000. A total of Tk 36,00,000 was paid for six cup seals which were used for Shah Poran’s mending.A BIWTC insider under condition of anonymity said, “If there was corruption of Tk 35 lakh and 98 thousand for a single item of the Shah Poran ferry, one can only wonder how much money was wasted from the government fund for around 200 items during the renovation project.”

BIWTC allegedly paid Tk 8 crore and 10 lakh for repairs of the ferry. However, Tk 7 crore and 70 lakh was needed to construct the new ferry Kaberi.

M A Gafur Sarker, Chief Engineer of BIWTC admitted that there was an audit objection on the issue.

He claimed, “The issue was a typing mistake only.”Few seconds later, he again changed his statement saying that the issue was solved.

However, he could not exactly recall how the issue of massive irregularities were actually solved. 

Bangladesh Post also contacted acting Chairman of BIWTC Syed Md. Tajul Islam to know about measures taken against the massive corruption in repairing of Shah Poran.

He said, “I was not in this post at the time.”He, however, said, “I shall call the concerned department officials to inquire about it.”