The Anti-Corruption Commission has found huge corruption and irregularities in every stage of projects of the Roads and Highways Department.
To prevent such corruption and irregularities in tender process and pre-construction and post-construction work, the commission on Sunday sent 21-point recommendations to the Cabinet Division, said acting commission secretary M Shamsul Arefin.
Anti-graft and green activists termed the scenario frustrating as the department conducted major development work in the country.
They urged the commission to take some exemplary legal actions against people involved in such corruption and irregularities.
Shamsul said that the commission would follow up actions to be taken by the government based on its recommendations.
He said that the commission found that in most cases, contractors and
engineers in collusion with each other used low-grade bricks, bitumen, sand, brick chips and brick powder without maintaining aggregate crushing value specified in the tenders.
The commission found that officials and constructors in most cases showed the space of road sides as holes and then embezzled money after allocation for filling up the holes.
The commission found huge irregularities in the use of project vehicles and vehicles purchased without estimating the needs, the acting commission secretary said, adding that irregularities in toll collection were also detected by the commission.
Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman told New Age on Sunday that the commission should take action against the people involved in such irregularities.
He urged the government to give its attention to the commission’s findings as it was the government’s responsibility to find out such irregularities.
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan secretary Iqbal Habib said that construction cost in the country’s development projects was much higher than that in other countries due to such irregularities.
He said that the construction cost in all development projects increased as the projects were being taken without necessary feasibility study and assessments.
In its recommendations, the commission said that the government should form a committee with representatives from engineering universities, civil society members, construction experts and honest officials of the Roads and Highways Division, the acting commission secretary said.
The commission recommended that the government should introduce monitoring of toll plazas by third parties and introduce use of live mobile apps, he said.
The commission also recommended that the government should ensure security of the honest engineers from the pressure of influential quarters including contractors.
The commission also recommended that the government to stopped overloading in the highways as the contractors claimed that the roads were being affected by overloaded vehicles which helped them to hide corruption, Shamsul said.
A team of the commission led by its deputy director Mirza Zahidul Alam made the recommendations based on its yearlong findings, the official said.
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