Graft in Govt Projects: ACC finds top CAAB officials’ involvement | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 12, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:00 AM, February 12, 2020

Graft in Govt Projects: ACC finds top CAAB officials’ involvement

Investigation by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has revealed names of some top officials of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) involved in graft on construction projects.

The officials are: CAAB Chief Engineer Sudhendu Bikash Goswami; Superintendent Engineer AKM Maksudul Islam; executive engineers Shariful Islam, Shahiduzzaman and Mokabbar Ali; and deputy assistant director Kazi Bayezid Ahmed.

ACC yesterday wrote a letter to the CAAB chairman to ensure presence of the six officials at ACC's Segunbagicha headquarters on February 20 and February 23 to face quizzing.

A three-member team led by ACC Director Sayed Iqbal Hossain kicked off the enquiry recently. Two other members are ACC's Deputy Director Gulshan Anowar Prodhan and Assistant Director Ataur Rahman Sarkar.

CAAB sources said at least Tk 4.5 crore has been misappropriated from a project adopted for construction of an import cargo canopy.

Wishing to be unnamed, the official said the estimated cost of the project was about Tk 11.5 crore. The work belongs to Division -1 of CAAB, but the work was carried out by division-2, breaching regulations. 

"Moreover, to avert the compulsory e-GP [online procedure for government procurement], the officials divided the work into four separate packages, all of which were awarded to one contractor," he added.

Besides, due to negligence of CAAB chief engineer and other officials, the expenditure of Cox's Bazar airport development project has shot up.

CAAB sources said former project director Aminul Hasib failed to deposit money meant for compensation for the affected locals on time, to the Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar.

Since the Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable property Act, 2017 came into effect, the compensation rate got doubled. As a result, the government had to pay extra Tk 100 crore to the affected people from the public exchequer.

Goswami was superintendent officer at that time, the CAAB source added.

In the letter, ACC said there are allegations of corruption and amassing wealth beyond the known source of income against Goswami and others.

Contacted, Maksudul declined to make any comment.

The correspondent called Goswami but he rejected the call. He was sent a text message, but the Chief Engineer did not respond. 

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