Under the second revised infrastructure project approved by Bangladesh government Tuesday, Dhaka South City Corporation buys 44,598 LED bulbs for Tk 289 crore or at an average price of Tk 64,801.
The unusually high price of the bulbs escalated the DSCC’s Infrastructure Improvement Project to Tk 1,719 crore from the original Tk 1,202.
Under the first revision, done in 2018, the cost of the project had escalated to Tk 1,216 crore.
DSCC took the project in 2016 for implementation in 2018.
The implementation period has been extended twice, first to 2019 and now to 2021.
On Tuesday, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council at a meeting chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina gave approval to the second revised Infrastructure Improvement Project of DSCC.
Later, planning minister MA Mannan said at a news briefing that planning ministry officials had been asked to follow up the high price of the LED bulbs.
He said that the matter was discussed.
Asked whether there had been widespread escalation of cost of development projects for such reasons, he requested officials of the planning commission to explain the issue.
An official said they have asked the ministries and divisions to provide the details of the miscellaneous items and their cost henceforth.
In absence of such directive, they could not examine project details in the past, he said.
While commenting on the issue, Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman said, ‘This is corruption.’
There has been widespread criticism after a probe report submitted to the High Court Division by the housing and public works ministry in July found massive corruption in procuring pillows and other articles for furnishing apartments for the Russian experts of the under construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
The probes detected that Tk 113.62 crore was spent for household articles for furnishing 966 apartments for the Russian experts though their actual price was Tk 77.22 crore.
Each pillow was shown to have purchased for Tk 5,957 and Tk 760 was shown as the lifting charge for each pillow.
An electric stove was shown to have cost Tk 7,747 with additional lifting charge of Tk 6,650.
An electric kettle cost Tk 5313 and its lifting cost was Tk 2,945.
The public works department purchased each room cleaner for Tk 12,018 with additional lifting cost of Tk 6,650.
An electric iron cost Tk 4,154 and its lifting cost was Tk 2,945.
Each TV set cost Tk 86,970 with additional lifting cost of Tk 7,698.
Each refrigerator cost Tk 94,250 with additional lifting cost of Tk 12,521.
Improvement of roads, drains, graveyards, play grounds, bus stoppages and parks are the other major component of the DSCC’s project for improving infrastructure.
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