Anomalies of BIWTA & BIWTC blamed
Golam Mostafa Jibon: A controversial company named ‘Three Angle Marine Limited’, which is known as builder of below standard ships and grabber of Meghna river, has got work of building 18 government vessels that raises question among the concerned people.
It is being apprehending that the standard of the under construction vessels will not be maintained as per the scheduled.
It has been alleged that, the company has got the work order of 18 out of 35 commercial vessel construction projects after managing some unscrupulous senior officials of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC).
Officials of BIWTA and BIWTC said, the quality of the vessels built by Three Angle Marine Limited in the past was not good. Due to the use of substandard engines and metallurgical materials, many vessels and auxiliary vessels could not be lowered into the water.
Even after repeatedly informing the matter to the senior officials of the BIWTA and BIWTC, the officials have given work order to the same company to build the government vessel with a huge amount of money. That is why, several question has been intensified.
The BIWTC chairman claimed that, the work of vessel building was provided to the ‘Three Angle Marine Limited’ in accordance with the qualifications and rules. There is no problem. But, this time, the officials of the company have promised that the quality of work will be better than earlier.
To enhance the quality of service, BIWTC is building 35 commercial vessels and eight auxiliary vessels involving Tk 1,318.20 crore. The duration of the project is from July 2018 to June 2023. Out of this, ‘Three Angle Marine Limited’ is constructing 18 vessels with a tender worth more than Tk 400 crore. But this ship-building company is known as low-quality shipbuilder and river grabber. The work of ‘Three Angle Marine Limited’ included six utility ferries, two coastal oil tankers, two fire fighting tugs, three modern inland passenger vessels, four coaster sea trucks and an inspection boat construction. The total construction cost has been estimated at Tk 428.49 crore. Of them, the work of utility ferries has progressed 30 percent, while the progress of rest work is less than 10 percent.
On the other hand, there are allegations against the Three Angle Marine Limited has built a ship repairing factory by filling a part of the Meghna river, which is considered as one of the main rivers of the country and its tributary Fuldi river.
On May 6 in 2019, the then Deputy Commissioner Sayla Farzana sent a list of river occupants of Munshiganj district to the National River Protection Commission. The name of the company was at the top of the list, where it was said that, the part of Meghna and Fuldi rivers including the lands of 899, 890, 900, 901, 904, 906, 910, 911 and 848 of Khatian No. 1 of Nayanagar mouza have been occupied by the Three Angle Marine Limited.
Besides, the company has also completely filled up two canals at Daulatpur in Munshiganj’s Gazaria and built various multi-storey structures. Large vessels are unable to navigate the Fuldi river as it has shrunk due to occupation and filling. As a result, the transportation of goods through waterway to various establishments including five food warehouses has been stopped, the concerned said.
In this regard, Munshiganj Deputy Commissioner’s Office sources said, they have received allegations of occupation of rivers and canals against the company. An investigation is also underway in this regard. It is true that the company occupied khas land. Some of those were later rescued. Now if the allegations of river occupation against them are proved to be true, appropriate action will be taken by the Ministry of Land and the National River Protection Commission, they said.
MA Rahman Ansar, Director (Logistics Support) of the company said, “We have built the company on 71 acres of land. A few parts of Nayanagar village remain. There are plans to use the entire village for marine industries.”
He however, denied the allegations of occupation of rivers and canals. The official alleged that, sand traders had occupied their land on the opposite side of the Meghna river.
Mohammad Aminul Islam, managing director of the company said, “We have been buying land here since 2009. We have bought all the lands in accordance with the appropriate law.”
Replying to a question over substandard work and river grabbing, he said, “Earlier, I was a BIWTA engineer. Later, I started my own business. But, some of my former colleagues do not like this. Although, many people cooperated with me, some people are spreading false allegations of land grabbing.
According to the website of ‘Three Angle Marine Limited’, they do business with the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the Ministry of Shipping. Meanwhile, BIWTA has purchased a tugboat, five cranes, a crew-houseboat, five barges and accessories at a cost of Tk 75 crore from it.
There are various complaints about the quality of its products and works. BIWTA is also going to buy a survey ship from this company spending at around Tk 50 crore.
Syed Mohammad Tajul Islam, Chairman of BIWTC said, “The company had built our vessel before. No problem was seen in those ships. Everything was fine. The vessels that are being built now are being monitored regularly by the company. So I hope that the quality of these vessels will be better than earlier.”
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