December 5, 2023, 12:30 am
SHANTIMOY CHAKMA: Myriad allegations have been brought against an engineer who has been serving more than fourteen years at Rangamati Hill District Council (RHDC) after transferring from Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) of Rangamati office on deputation.
Contractors as well as leaders of ruling party Awami League (AL) brought multiple allegations against Abu Zafar Md. Ershadul Haque Mondal, a sub-assistant engineer, for his alleged involvement in unbridle corruption through manipulation of tenders for long time.
Deputy Director of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Rangpur Division filed a graft case against him last year and the case is still remained pending, said sources from Rangpur ACC office.
SM Shafiul Azam, proprietor of Akhi International, sent a written allegation to the secretary of ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs and chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), seeking necessary lawful action against Ershadul Haque through an investigation immediately.
The allegations including manipulation of tenders of big development schemes, selling the works of big schemes in exchange of 10-15 percent money (bribe) in advance to his nominated contractors, changing of real estimates and making of frauds estimates, concealing the real estimated costs and showing fictitious schemes, showing additional works during issuing bill to the contractors, monopoly providing of tender awards to his selected contractors and quality of works do not ensure in his sites etc.
Newly enlisted construction farm M/S CM Traders (Chinu Ching Marma) was allegedly awarded with about 20 schemes works in the immediate past single fiscal year by Ershad. The license of the farm was made just in 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Contacted, Mahedi-al-Mahboob, proprietor of the farm, said he got only 10 awards in the immediate past financial year. He also claimed that he got all the awards through legal tender procedures and his license was made many years ago.
In his wrong doings, office assistant of the engineering section Sumanta Chakma was also involved in tender manipulation with Ershadul Haque. Sumanta takes 4 percent bribe for each illegally processed tender work from the contractors and both Ershad and Sumanta were also allegedly engaged in construction works by using licenses of their nominated contractors.
All of these allegations were found true after carrying out an investigation by this correspondent and related documents were collected as well.
It’s alleged that Ershad manipulates tenders of big works through different frauds and techniques. There is a provision as per the public procurement (PPR) regulation 2008 that a tender work above Tk 1 crore must be given in the website of Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU). But he did not do this in every tender process.
In the immediate past fiscal year of 2020-2021, a tender was called under opening tendering method (OTM) on November 2, 2020 where two projects—Tk 2 crore in each scheme as approved estimated costs. In that tender there were four bidders were contested—-Addut Jyoti Chakma, Akhi International, Md. Abu Taher and Liton Majhi (Liton Entreprise). When tender opened the amount of two schemes were fictitiously shown Tk 2, 18,46,427.770 and Tk 2,17,94,087.670. Akhi and Addut were the two first and second lowest bidders in accordance with the government approved estimated costs. But the work orders of two projects had been awarded to Liton Majhi by violating PPR rules, alleged SM Safiul Azam.
Ershad and one of office assistant Sumanta Chakma involved in illegal tender procedures, and Sumanta takes four percent bribe from each illicit tender process, alleged Azam.
The two schemes are Construction of road from Paidongpara to Graveyard Jatrichawni via Torgupara (package no 187) and Balumura to Kamolchari via Kechipara (package no 188).
To hide his misdeeds and corruption, Ershad allegedly formed a fake platform of Bangabandhu Diploma Engineering Parishad where he himself made as president.
There will be found more irregularities and corruption if investigation is carried out from the government side in this regard.
Former president of Bangladesh Chhatra League town committee, several leaders of district unit of Juba League and AL demanded removal of Ershad from RHDC for his wrong doings.
Former district juba league president Md. Zamir Uddin told this correspondent that their party’s stance is always against any kind of corruption, misdeeds and wrong doings. So, we should not indulge anyone no matter who is from our party or an official involved in such deeds.
Ershadul Haque Mondal could not be reach for his comment as his cellular phone was switched off.
In a query, Biral Barua, acting executive engineer of RHDC, said he is a small staff and he did not know anything adding that you all know about the godfather of Ershad. (Reproduced of this content is a punishable offense as per the copywrite.)