PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
Golam Mostafa Jibon: A number of senior engineers in Public Works Department (PWD) have engaged in racing to achieve the post of Chief Engineer, which has now become a main topic of discussion in the most significant department of the government.
The aspirants are moving from door to door of the high-ups and influential Awami League leaders and carrying lobbying to get the post, which is termed as honey pipkin by many of the officials. Many of them have got down in the field along with big sum of money to manage the upper levels. Among others, Additional Chief Engineer Dr Md Moinul Islam, Md Mosleh Uddin Ahmed, Md Shamsuddoha and Md Ashraful Alam are ahead of the race.
Sources said, PWD has now turned into a den of corruption. The department is engaged in the renovation and maintenance activities of different residential and official buildings of the government. Huge amount of money is spent through the department each year on different development work purpose. This is why; many people term the department as a honey pot.
According to the sources, the incumbent Chief Engineer Md Shahadat Hossain is set to go on retirement on December 30 this year. Taking the advantage, the engineers have now become desperate to get the position.
It is to be mentioned that, a few number of engineers are now in prison centering the pillow incident of Ruppur in Pabna. Unfortunately, the incident reached until high court. But, PWD authorities could not take any visible action on this regard that creates agitation among the honest and sacrificing officials of the department.
There is a complaint that, PWD top bosses did not take steps against corrupt officials, though a probe body formed by the national parliament submitted investigation report recommending to take divisional action against them. In addition, they were promoted several times.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sources said, ACC arrested some 13 officials on charge of corruption and anomalies. A number of officers are still under scanner.
Some officials of the department complained that, the incumbent Chief Engineer Shahadat Hossain got appointment on the blessing of Casino king GK Shamim. Previous Chief Engineer Rafiqul Islam also got appointment in the same way. The both were masters of the corruption and irregularities in the department.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court in a verdict asked the authorities concerned to appoint Additional Engineer of PWD’s Rangpur Zone Ashraful Alam as Chief Engineer on the basis of seniority. If the verdict is implemented, he will get appointment as Chief Engineer in the department.
Earlier, ACC conducted an investigation and finally settled the matter as the allegation brought against Ashraful Alam on charge of corruption and anomalies in construction of National Eye Science Institute and Hospital were not proved.
On the other hand, a written complaint was submitted to the ACC by one Sohel Rana on behalf of PWD Contractors’ Association against Additional Chief Engineer Mosleh Uddin and Dr Moinul Islam for different corruption and irregularities.
According to the complaint, Moinul went abroad in the name of higher education taking leave for three years. But, he returned to the country after nine years. He stayed abroad six more years illegally without leave. He was suspended temporarily for violating the service rule. He gained the post again by managing some top bosses. There is a rumor that, an influential minister of Barishal region is now working on behalf of the mentioned officer.
On the other hand, another influential minister is providing supports to Mosleh Uddin as he has hailed from Noakhali, office insiders boldly said.
Besides, there are many allegations of corruption and anomalies against Md Shamsuddoha, who is discharging duty as Additional Chief Engineer at PWD Mymensingh Zone.
Honest and sacrificing officials of the PWD urged the high-ups to appoint an honest officer as Chief Engineer in which transparency and accountability are ensured in the department.