Barapukuria coal scam: Technical committee formed to evaluate system loss | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:39 AM, September 02, 2018

Barapukuria Coal Scam: Technical committee to evaluate system loss

Petrobangla has formulated a technical committee to evaluate the system losses into the 1.45 lakh tonnes of coal disappearance incident of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL) in Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur.

The market price of the disappeared coal is Tk 230 crore.

The committee was formulated on August 28, a day before its former managing director Habib Uddin Ahmed told reporters that the coal disappearance was nothing but a system loss, which had never been estimated since the commercial production of BCMCL started back in 2005. He made the remarks after coming out from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office in Dhaka, following an interrogation by ACC in connection with the missing coal.

Abul Monsur Faizullah, chairman of Petrobangla, on July 28 hinted at forming a technical committee to evaluate the technical aspects of the mine.

Mahbub Sarwar, director (production sharing contract) of Petrobangla, was made head of the seven-member body.

Other members are Professor Chowdhury Kamruzzaman, department of Geology, University of Dhaka; Professor Dr Md Shafiqul Islam, department of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology; Mokbul E-Elahi, former director (mine and minerology and planning) of Petrobangla; AKM Shamsuddin, former managing director of Paschimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL) in Sirajganj; Md Akbar Ali, director (geology), Geological Survey of Bangladesh, and SM Habibur Rahman, general manager (engineering) of Petrobangla.

The committee has been asked to submit its findings to the chairman of Petrobangla within 10 working days.

Mostafa Kamal, director (admin) of Petrobangla, in his signed letter regarding the formulation of the evaluation committee stated that the technical committee will be checking any system loss between production to marketing of BCMCL. The committee will determine a certain percentage of system loss, if it exists, and will provide feedback and suggestions regarding the system loss.

BCMCL officials claimed that the coal disappearance was a system loss of 1.4 percent of total production since 2005. According to the officials, it produced 1.0166 crore tonnes of coal since 2005 to June 29 this year. Of them, 66.87 lakh tonnes of coal had been supplied to Bangladesh Power Development Board and 33.19 lakh tonnes of coal was sold to different industries and brickfield operators. They internally used 12,000 tonnes of coal.

Around 1.48 lakh tonnes of coal should be at the stockyard, but Petrobangla officials found only around 3,000 tonnes of coal at the stockyard on July 16.

The 525MW power plant was shut down indefinitely on July 22 due to the coal shortage.

Anisur Rahman, manager (admin) of BCMCL, filed a case with Parbatipur Police Station on July 24 brining corruption accusation against 19 officials including its former managing director Habib Uddin Ahmed. 

ACC is investigating the coal scam, with a probe committee led by Shamsul Alam,deputy director of ACC, formed on July 24.

Besides, Petrobangla and PMO also formed separate bodies to investigate the missing coal.

Petrobangla suspended three officials, including the company's Managing Director Habib Uddin Ahmed, General Manager (mine operations) Abu Taher Mohammad Nuruzzaman Chowdhury and Deputy General Manager (store) AKM Khaledul Islam, on July 19.

Abul Kashem Prodhania, the company's general manager and secretary, was transferred to PGCL in Sirajganj. 

ACC has also barred 21 officials of BCMCL from travelling abroad, and has so far interrogated 30 officials of BCMCL and Petrobangla till August 30.

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