Wonderful quality testing
Ayub Ali:The Dhaka-Chittagong Energy Pipeline Project is being implemented at a cost of about Tk 3,171 crore for the advancement of energy security in the country. This will be the first pipeline to transport oil inland. The BPC chairman went to Canada on April 14 to see the pipes of this project. Apart from his wife and son, he was accompanied by two joint secretaries, managing director of Padma Oil Company and two heads of pipe suppliers.
However, most of the foreign tours have already reached the country to check the quality of the pipes. Although one of the two joint secretaries was transferred from BPC to another ministry four months ago, he was a traveling companion. However, the tour order (GEO) was made four months ago. According to the Government Order (GO), the pipe-paying company paid for the four officials’ trip to Canada, but the BPC chairman’s wife and son paid for the trip themselves. In the meantime, they returned to the country on Monday (April 25) after the tour.
BPC Chairman ABM Azad along with his wife and son went to Canada to see the pipes of Dhaka-Chittagong fuel pipeline project. According to the research, about 75 percent of the pipes of the project have already reached the country. The remaining 15 percent of the pipes were shipped before the BPC chairman’s visit to Canada. The question is, if you are going to Canada to check the quality of the pipe, then why this trip after shipment.
Talking to Ilias Hossain, Joint Secretary (Administration) of the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, who is on a visit, he told, This visit to Canada is mainly to see the pipes. The BPC chairman and I went there to see how the pipeline installation process was done in a country like Canada. It doesn’t matter if I went here before or after shipping.
Syed Mehdi Hasan, Joint Secretary (Administration-2 Branch) of the Ministry of Social Welfare, who was on a visit, told, “We went to see the quality of the pipes. As far as I’ve seen, the pipes are fine.
However, when asked about the shipping of pipes before their visit, he said, “Not all the pipes have been
shipped yet. Some pipes are still being shipped.
In this regard, the project director of the Dhaka-Chittagong energy supply pipeline project Padma Oil Company General Manager Aminul Haque told, “Work on the project is progressing fast. Most of the pipes have already come from Canada. The rest is on the way to the country.
According to a letter dated December 6 last year from the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Government Order (GO) of the visit to Canada issued to the BPC Chairman stated that six persons were allowed to visit Canada on 8-14 December (excluding travel time) or in the near future for line pipe inspection.
According to GO, the six are: BPC Chairman ABM Azad, BPC Director Syed Mehdi Hasan, Joint Secretary for Energy and Mineral Resources Mohammad Ilias Hossain, Managing Director of Padma Oil Company Limited Mohammad Masudur Rahman, Chairman of Pipeline Supplier Buildstone Construction Company Limited Dr. Osman Gani Chowdhury and Managing Director Omar Gani Chowdhury.
As per the terms of the GO order, the travel expenses of the first four persons (BPC Chairman, Director, Joint Secretary, Managing Director of Padma Oil) will be borne by Buildstone Construction Company Limited. The same order said that Laila Masuda, wife of BPC chairman and son Sarwar Morshed Qaderi would also be present during the visit. However, they will bear the cost of their trip. Following that order, on December 21 last year, Syed Mehdi Hasan was transferred from BPC to the post of Joint Secretary (Administration-2 Branch) in the Ministry of Social Welfare.
Although it was a visit to Canada as per the government order, there has been a mixed reaction in the conscious community as to why this visit took place after the shipping of the pipe. The official who was transferred to another ministry four months ago, who has nothing to do with the current project, is also being talked about as to why he was kept on the tour.
Advocate Akhtar Kabir Chowdhury, general secretary of Citizens for Good Governance (Sujan) Chittagong told that they (BPC officials) were visiting Canada to see the quality of the pipes. But when they go to Canada after the pipe shipment, when will you see the quality.
He said it was a crime to take the joint secretary of another ministry, who is not currently involved with the BPC project, on a visit to Canada. Here, corruption has been resorted to by abusing power from the highest levels of government. This is turning the government’s zero tolerance policy against corruption into a joke. In this case, departmental action should be taken against these officers. Hopefully, the ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission) will do that. So that no government official can commit such irregularities in future.
A senior official of the energy department told on condition of anonymity that the BPC is implementing a single point mooring (SPM) project at a cost of around Tk 7,000 crore. The pipes for the whole project came from China. Work on the project is also nearing completion. No BPC official had to go to China to see the pipes of this project. It is not clear why this visit to Canada is after the Dhaka-Chittagong fuel supply pipeline project has gone.
It is learned that about 3 million tons of fuel oil is transported from Chittagong to Dhaka by sea every year. In this sector, including transit loss, system loss of crores of rupees is BPC. Besides, it takes more time for oil tankers to reach Dhaka from Chittagong. The Department of Energy and Mineral Resources is constructing the Dhaka-Chittagong pipeline to ensure energy security as well as save time and money.
According to BPC sources, BPC completed the feasibility study of the Dhaka-Chittagong fuel oil pipeline construction project in June 2015. On 15 February of the following year, Engineers India Limited (EIL) was appointed as the consultant. The government took a policy decision on 14 December 2016 to implement the last project through the army under the supervision of Padma Oil Company. The length of the pipeline in this project will be about 249.56 kilometers.
Of these, 241.28 km 18 inch diameter underground pipeline with seven stations from Chittagong to Godnail in Narayanganj will be constructed and 7.29 km 10 inch diameter pipeline with two stations from Godnail to Fatulla will be constructed. 6.95 km pipeline will be laid at the bottom of 22 rivers through HDD (higher data storage) technology.
Meanwhile, 264.92 acres of project land has been acquired in 19 upazilas of Chittagong, Feni, Comilla, Chandpur, Munshiganj and Narayanganj districts. Under this project a new depot will be set up at Barura in Comilla.
According to project related sources, the estimated cost of the project was fixed at Tk 2,331 crore in the DPP (Development Project Proposal) sent to the Energy and Mineral Resources Department of the project on November 29, 2016.
Subsequently, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project on 9 October 2016 at a cost of Tk 2,061.31 crore by increasing it to Tk 530 crore with several amendments.A month later, on November 5 of that year, the government gave administrative approval to the project. This is followed by multidimensional complexity. BPC revised the DPPT in the face of obstacles from several influential syndicates.
In the revised DPP, BPC cut the construction of 59.23 km 6-inch diameter underground fuel pipeline from Comilla to Chandpur in the middle of the project. The cost is reduced by 3.02 percent. As a result, the financial value of the revised DPP stood at Tk 2,858.49 crore.
On 19 May 2020, the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources gave administrative approval to the revised DPP. Later, in the third phase, it was revised again and the cost of project implementation increased to Tk 413.36 crore. Lastly, on January 22, the government gave administrative approval for this mega project worth Tk 3,161.65 crore. Till December 31, 2021, one thousand 8 crore 63 lakh taka has been spent for the implementation of the project. The project is expected to be completed by December 31 this year.
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