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Corruption in 10- high school construction project: Part 3

Serious nepotism in appointing staff

Published : 10 Dec 2019 09:21 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 05:05 AM

The Project Director (PD) of 10 new government high schools in preferential areas of Dhaka city and adjacent districts is also accused of serious nepotism in appointing manpower for the Tk 673.46 crore project. Dr Md Amirul Islam, the PD, a 20th BCS Education cadre officer, and currently an associate professor-5th grade, has allegedly appointed his own brother , nephew and personal driver in the project. The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education under the Secondary and Higher Education Division of the Ministry of Education is implementing the project from July 2017.

The PD's brother Md Shaharul Islam was appointed as computer operator. He was appointed without any advertisement in any reputed newspaper. His nephew Md Towfiqur Rahman was appointed as cash peon. But he does not discharge his duties properly. Instead of Towfiq, cleaner Md Monirul Islam works as cash peon.

Two computer operators were appointed at first. But one computer operator left the job. Shaharul obtained only 4 marks out of 15 in the examination. But Amirul influenced the result, and Shaharul was given more marks in the viva-voce examination. Thus his position was third in the waiting list. After one computer operator left the job, Amirul picked up his own brother without any new advertisement.

Though Shaharul is a computer operator of the project, he actually works at the personal construction project of his brother Amirul. He works for his brother. But he gets salary from the government. Even when Shaharul went to Jashore for his own marriage, he was shown present at his duty. He left Jashore after nine days. But he was given full salary despite his absences.

His nephew Towfiq also does not work as a cash peon, but he gets salary regularly from the project. Amirul is controlling the whole project by appointing his personal driver. A strong syndicate led by Amirul Islam has been active to appoint 440 Third class and Fourth class staff for the ten new schools of the project. When contacted, Towfiq said, “ I am not a nephew of Amirul.” Shaharul refused to talk saying his is on the street.

Md. Sarwar Hossain , who assisted Aminul when he was Deputy Project Director of 6/11 ( Six Government Colleges and eleven school establishments in Dhaka City) project, was appointed as accountant in the new project. A circular for job advertisement was published in 2018 for the post of accountant for the project. Some job seekers had also applied for the post. But at the time Sarwar was working in the previous project with Amirul Islam. His tenure was not finished. He threatened all the applicants. As a result, no applicant took part in the test. After finishing his tenure, Sarwar was again appointed as accountant of the new project through a staged appointment examination.

Amirul in association with accountant Sarwar and a so-called student leader is allegedly involved in conducting outsourcing business . He is also involved in tender manipulation. He gets the secret information of tender bids from other project directors. Then he leaks information to the student leader. As per the information, the student leader drops tenders and gets the work orders easily.

Amirul has also become the owner of huge amount of money by such illegal business. Violating all rules, he awarded the student leader the outsourcing business. Mission Enterprise was awarded the business though they provided fake bank guarantee. When the fake bank guarantee was detected, a concerned officer was threatened and harassed in various ways.

Though Amirul Islam knew all about the fake bank guarantee, he signed the contract with the Mission Enterprise. He also took the office file with him so that it was not disclosed. A group of hired goons led by Anisur Rahman is always seen at the project office.

Whenever any journalist starts investigation about misappropriation and corruption of the project, they create immense pressure and threaten the journalists. This correspondent on Tuesday called Amirul Islam over phone several times to get his comment and also sent an SMS to his personal mobile over the allegations against him, but there was no response from his side.

(This the third part of a series report under the above headline.)