RNPP Purchase Scam

BAEC terms housing ministry’s inquiry false

Ershad Kamol | Published: 01:31, Jul 26,2019


Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission on Thursday branded ‘false, baseless and imaginary’ the housing ministry’s probe reports those found involvement of four of its officials in corruption in purchase of home appliances for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project.

After a meeting over the issue at its Agargaon office, the commission at a press conference protested at the housing minister’s statement of taking action against 34 officials, including four BAEC officials for their involvement in the graft.

‘The statement was imaginary and we think that we have been wrongfully blamed with the evil intention of making the long-termed project questionable,’ BAEC deputy project director Zahedul Hasan said.

Housing minister SM Rezaul Karim on Wednesday at his office said he would request science and technology ministry for taking action against the project director Showkat Akbar, deputy project M Hasinur Rahman, sub-assistant engineers M Mehedi Hasan and M Mahbubur Rahman for their involvement in corruption which took place during monitoring and final inventorying stage of the purchase of appliances. 

The minister also said that actions would be taken against 26 serving and four retired officials of PWD and Tk 36.40 extra paid to the contractors would also be adjusted from pending bills.

BAEC deputy project director Zahedul at the press conference, however, claimed that they evaluated all documents of assigning the task to PWD and found they had no responsibility in monitoring and evaluation state.

‘PWD is a specialised government organisation and we relied on it for the specialised job as we did in case of other organisation such as railway department, inland water transport authority for their assigned jobs,’ Zahedul said.

According to the contract, Zahedul said, PWD was responsible for estimating cost of the project, their purchase through the contractors, paying bills, having its audit and handing over those to Rooppur project authorities.

A tripartite committee comprising officials of BAEC, PWD and a Russian firm scrutinised flat-wise inventory before handing over those to the Russian engineers in the finished four high-rises.

Tk 2,742.81 crore was allocated for the construction of nine apartment buildings and furnishing those with home appliances, he said.

Zahedul could not say what they would do while receiving appliances of other five high-rises and refused to disclose the cost of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project.

The housing ministry probes found estimated cost of the project was Tk 231,47,95,237 what should actually be Tk 169,27,06,333. The probes also found Tk 62,20,88,904 was estimated extra.

The committees found that bills paid against the purchase of appliances for four buildings was Tk 113,62,94,104 what should be Tk 77,22,85,427.

Housing minister Rezaul Karim told New Age that probe reports were submitted to the High Court Division on July 10 as per the court order. ‘The court will decide whether the probe reports were correct or not,’ Rezaul said. Nothing was done intentionally to humiliate any organisation or ministry, he added.

‘If anybody or organisation comes up with such allegations, they are behaving irresponsible,’ he said.

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