Two government probe committees have found anomalies involving Tk 36.4 crore in purchasing furniture and other household items for officials of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna.
The bodies, formed by the housing and public works ministry, have also recommended departmental and legal actions against 50 officials, including Engineer Masudul Alam, former project director of Green City Housing Project under the power plant, over the irregularities.
On May 22, Masudul was made a reserve officer at the Public Works Department for his alleged involvement in the irregularities.
The committees yesterday handed over a probe report to the attorney general’s office for submitting it to the High Court.
Contacted, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star that the HC would hold a hearing on the issue on July 21. But he did not give any details.
According to a part of the report obtained by this newspaper, a Tk 113.63 crore deal was signed with three companies for supplying furniture and electrical appliances for four buildings of the Green City Housing Project. But the actual price of those items was 77.23 crore.
The committees suggested taking action to realise the Tk 36.4 crore that was paid through anomalies.
Supreme Court lawyer barrister Sayedul Haque Suman, who received a copy of 1,014-page report, told this correspondent that the money was misappropriated by the 50 officials.
Following a writ petition by him, the HC on July 2 asked the attorney general’s office to collect the committees’ reports and submit those before the court in two weeks.
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain within four weeks as to why it failed to ensure transparency in purchasing the items.
The court sought to know the steps taken against the officials involved in alleged irregularities.
The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi gave the order and rule following the writ petition.
During a hearing on May 20, Suman told the HC that the irregularities in purchasing the furniture and other household items should be enquired by an independent judicial committee, as the committees formed by the housing and public works ministry might be biased.
The officials against whom the allegations have been raised are part of the housing ministry, he argued, adding that the officials have failed to keep the faith in them through the purchase of the items.
According to reports in the media as well as on social media, the purchase prices of various items to furnish the project’s 966 flats for the Russian engineers and others were abnormally higher than the market prices.
The reports claimed that each pillow was bought for Tk 5,957, and the cost of carrying it to a flat was Tk 760. An electric stove cost Tk 7,747 and the carrying cost from the ground floor to the top one cost Tk 6,650.
The reports also said the price of an electric iron was Tk 4,154 and the carrying cost Tk 2,945.