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ACC identifies 11 sources of corruption in Dhaka WASA

Published : Friday, 19 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 727

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has identified 11 sources of corruption in Dhaka WASA.  ACC Deputy Commissioner Mozammel Haque Khan handed over the report to the local government minister Tajul Islam on Thursday.
In its report, ACC stated that without implementing the WASA projects within specified time and expenditure project and expenses have been increased for various reasons.
Besides, syndicates,
political influence and paying bribes to select contractors have become common practices. In this case, the engineers, the WASA management authority along with project directors are involved. In many cases the project design and specification were not maintained.
The ACC has detailed out a project to show the corruption. The project was related to reducing reliance on ground water in Mirpur to meet the demand of water in greater Mirpur area including Dhaka. The project was approved on 22 November 2012.
According to the Development Project Proposal (DPP), the government had to give Tk 142 crore, WASA 10 crore, project assistance Tk 369 crore for the total project cost of Tk 521 crore and the project would end in June 2017.
But according to the revised DPP of March 29, 2016, the cost of the project was increased to Tk 573 crore, of which Tk 200.5 crore to paid by the government, 10 crore by WASA.
According to the ACC, the project cost of Tk 52 crore has been increased unjustifiably without ending the project work within the stipulated time. In fact, till December 2016, the progress of practical work was 46.77 percent, but contractors have been paid 313.77 crore, which is 54.7 percent of the revised DPP price. In this case, there is a lot of difference between the progress work of the project and bill paid to the contractors.
The report suggested 12-point recommendations to prevent corruption in WASA.
ACC Commissioner Mozammel Haque Khan said, the water supplied by WASA is not yet drinkable. Project cost increased due to dilly-dally in its various projects. Contractors have been paid more than the work they did. As a result, projects have not been implemented properly. If WASA had disbursed funds considering the value and range of work responsibly, progress would have been good. It can be said; obviously Wasa is involved in such irregularities.
The ACC has found corruption in the interim projects taken to maintain the water supply system in Dhaka and Narayanganj metropolitan cities. They found that expenditure of the project have been increased unjustifiably.
To ensure water supply to Dhaka City, the cost of the Saidabad Water Treatment Plant (Phase-3) project is supposed to be completed by July 2020 , at the cost of 4, 597 crores. But there is no progress in the project work, ACC said. The construction of Padma (Jashladia) Water Treatment Plant (Phase I) project for 2013-2013 is expected to be completed by 2013-2018, but it did not happen.
The Dhaka Environmental Sustainable Water Supply Project was taken at a cost of Tk 5,248 crore to ensure the supply of water to the Dhaka City by purifying the ground water. The project was planned to be completed between December 2013 and December 2019. The progress of the project is merely 8 percent, but the contractor had gone beyond the amount of Tk 238 million.
The Dasherkandi sewerage treatment plant project 2019 for Gulshan, Banani and other areas of capital Dhaka is to be completed in December. But the progress of the project is negligible. Tk 101 crore has been paid by the government.
There is also a huge corruption in public-owned deep tube wells, meter readings and revenue collection. Since WASA is still using the manual method, the officers and employees of the Engineering and Revenue Branch concerned have developed a syndicate to manipulate bills.
Due to lack of adequate manpower in Dhaka WASA, WASA employees have to do extra work outside the scheduled work hours. In this case, their overtime bills are almost twice as much than their original salary. In many cases, some influential employees took up the bill with the help of WASA officials without overtime.
The ACC thinks that the collective measurement team and monitoring team can be formed in coordination with the different engineers of different engineering firms to eliminate various irregularities, corruption and waste of ongoing projects.
As a result, WASA authorities and contractors will be careful about completing the project work in due course. Time, wastage of money and corruption will be reduced considerably.
WASA authorities have to be sure that the project has the precision and usefulness.
Regarding tender evaluation, a strong committee should be formed, including representatives of donor agencies.
In order to bring WASA under transparency and accountability, surveillance agencies, including media, ACC, audit departments, will have to increase the surveillance.

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