ACC finds graft in WASA projects drained billions

Published: July 19, 2019 11:00:37 | Updated: July 19, 2019 14:19:18

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found irregularities and graft in about a dozen projects in an investigation into activities of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA).

The national anti-graft watchdog identified 11 sources of corruption in the government utility that serves the capital.

It has sent a report with 12 recommendations to cap the sources to the local government ministry.

ACC Commissioner Md Mozammel Haque Khan handed the report to LGRD Minister Tazul Islam on Thursday.

The ACC found excuses were made to get extensions and additional funds without completing WASA projects worth tens of billions of takas within the stipulated time. 

It found involvement of project directors, engineers and managing authorities in the practice.

The report flagged the Tk 46 billion Sayedabad Water Treatment Plant (Phase 3), the Tk 52.48 billion Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project, the Tk 31.82 billion Dhaka Water Supply Network Development Project, and the Tk 35.08 billion Padma (Jashaldia) Water Treatment Plant Construction Project (Phase 1) among the schemes tainted with graft.

It also mentioned a Tk 2.52 billion project to supply additional water, the Tk 3.17 billion Dasherkandi Water Treatment Plant Project, a Tk 240 million project to develop drainage system at Agargaon, and another Tk 5.21 billion project in Mirpur.

The ACC observed that awarding project work to contractors on political bias and in exchange for bribes through syndication has become a practice in WASA, bdnews24.com reports.

This practice leads to delay in completion of project in line with specifications and design, and also an abnormal rise in project costs.

The commission also found corruption and irregularities in the setting up of deep tube-well, meter reading, revenue collection, and overtime bills in WASA.

It recommended institution of joint teams of engineering agencies to survey and monitor WASA projects, ministry-based teams to oversee tender, digitalisation of services, and human resource management to stop corruption.

ACC Commissioner Mozammel said a team of the commission made the report on analysing and collating information gathered from numerous sources.

Minister Tazul praised the ACC for the report and promised action on review.

Share if you like