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Bangladesh Post report on corruption in high school project

PM orders intelligence agencies to investigate

Published : 19 Mar 2020 09:30 PM | Updated : 04 Sep 2020 07:44 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed several intelligence agencies to investigate the reported massive corruption allegation in a high school construction project.

Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) under the Secondary and Higher Education Division of the Ministry of Education is implementing the project.

Associate Professor Dr Md Amirul Islam is the Project Director (PD) of the much-talked 10 new government high school project. The schools are scheduled to be built in surrounding areas of Dhaka city and adjacent districts.

Talking to The Bangladesh Post on Sunday, DSHE DG Prof Dr Syed Md Golam Faruk also confirmed about the PM’s order to investigate the issue.

He said, “A high powered probe committee was formed. The probe committee is investigating the issue.”
After the publishing an eight-part series report titled ’Corruption in 10-High school construction project’ in Bangladesh Post, the government high ups decided to look into the matter and instructed to investigate the matter.

Earlier, the Education Ministry had also formed a high-powered probe-committee to investigate the allegation.
Sources alleged that after publishing the eight part series report in Bangladesh Post, Dr Md Amirul Islam started hectic lobbies to stop investigation. He spent huge amount of money to get rid of punishment.

Even after the formation of the probe committee against him, he allegedly attempted to influence the probe committee.
After the instruction of the PM, the three intelligence agencies have assigned officials to investigate the allegations against Dr Md Amirul Islam.

Mentionable, the DSHE started implementing a Tk 673 crore project from July 2017. It has been alleged that even though only two percent project work has so far been completed, the PD is desperately active to increase the cost of the project to Tk 1,124 crore.
In the Development Project Proposal (DPD), the total cost of the project was Tk 673.46 crore. But in order to embezzle major funds of the project, a corrupt syndicate is desperately trying to send Revised Development Project Proposal (RDPP) to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for allocating Tk 1,124 crore.

Project insiders alleged that massive corruption has been committed in land acquisition process. In the DPP, Tk 400 crore was allocated for purchasing 20 acres of land for the ten new high schools. But in the RDPP, around Tk 750.50 crore has been proposed for the same amount of land for the same number of schools.

The proposed estimate for the acquisition of 12 acres of land was around Tk 604.50 crore. This probable estimate was prepared at the request of the then-new high school establishment project official in a bid to raise the land acquisition prices to Tk 750.50 crore in the RDPP, sources said. A signed copy of the proposed cost of the land acquisition document was also obtained by this correspondent.

When contacted, Jooti Prue, who had signed the proposed land acquisition cost document, admitted that he had signed the probable estimate when he was holding that position. He said that he is no longer assigned to work for the project. However, he claimed that this estimate is not final but a draft. Before finalizing the acquisition, officials from various government departments will make field visits to the sites to verify the actual cost.

The Bangladesh Post several times attempted to contact Dr Md Amirul Islam, but he did not receive call.