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Bangladesh - December 4, 2021

One man serving as PD of 25 projects!

Who cares PM’s directive?

Golam Mostafa Jibon:Though, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a strict directive that one man will never serve as Project Director (PD) for more than one project of the government, some of the government offices especially the Department of Education Engineering (EED) are not complying with the directive on different so-called pleas, it is alleged.
On the excuse of manpower shortage and so-called ‘assigned responsibility’, the Department of Education Engineering (EED) has given charge of over two dozen of projects on one person that pointing a severe violation of rules and directive of the Prime Minister. Besides, there is going on a grand festival of plundering the government money in the name of implementation of multiple projects. Most of the projects are not being implemented in time. If some are being implemented, the standard is not being maintained. Big sum of the money under the projects being implemented by such favorableone is being misappropriated under the nose of high-ups. But there is no one to see the matter even after wasting crores of Taka in water, insiders complained.
It is to be mentioned that, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier termed the performance of 10 to 12 projects by only one officer as ‘terrible’. Instructing all ministries to take immediate action in this regard, the premier said,”One officer will never serve as PD against more than one projects of the government.”
In practical, the directive is being ignored severely at different offices. There are instances of multiple projects being carried out by one person or 10 to 25 projects being carried out by one chosen person.
At least 25 projects of EED have remained in the hand of an executive engineer of the department, which has created criticism among the concerned people. The name of this fortunate officer in the unprecedented case is Md. Abul Hashem Sardar. Dissatisfaction has spread among the officials from the field level to the center of the institution over the matter. However, the chief engineer (CE) himself is not getting the courage to say something about him as he is very much ‘influential’ with the so-called blessing of a minister, many officials claimed.
Not only Md. Abul Hashem Sardar, there are some of his associates in the office. Those, who are servicing as PD of more than one project, have been identified as Assistant Engineer Md. Sirajul Islam, Md. Zafar Ali Sikder, Md. Shahjajan Ali and Shah Md. Rakib.
According to the document, next to the name of Executive Engineer Md. Abul Hashem Sardar, it has been mentioned as ‘assigned responsibility/bequest’,
The projects, which are now on the hand of Abul Hashem Sardar, are: 1. ‘Three private college development projects in Sunamganj district’. 2. ‘Infrastructure Development Project of Birshreshtha Munshi Abdur Rauf Public College’ BGB Headquarters, Dhaka. 3. ‘Infrastructure development project of three private colleges’ in Gopalganj, Madaripur and Rajbari districts. 4. ‘Military Collegiate School’, Khulna’s infrastructure development project. 5. ‘Two infrastructure development project of the government and one private educational institution in Noakhali and Feni districts. 6. ‘Infrastructure Development Project of Sheikh Russell High School in Gopalganj Sadar and Sher-e-Bangla Girls College in Sutrapur of Dhaka’. 7. ‘Reform of Government Educational Institutions under Revenue Sector (4931)’. 8. ‘Reform of private educational institutions under the revenue sector (6026)’. 9. ‘Supply of furniture to private educational institutions under revenue sector’. 10. ‘Infrastructure development project of five educational institutions in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts. 11. ‘Construction of residential buildings and setting up of new residential schools in existing secondary schools in the three hill tract districts. 12. ‘Establishment of Government Colleges in five Upazilas, where there is no government Colleges’. 13. ‘Establishment of one Technical School and College (TSC) in 100 Upazilas’. 14. ‘Establishment of 329 technical schools and colleges at upazila level (Phase II)’. 15. ‘Capacity building of 64 technical schools and colleges under the Department of Technical Education.’ 17. ‘Establishment of four Women’s Polytechnic Institutes in Sylhet, Barisal, Rangpur and Mymensingh divisions. 16. ‘Development of Bangladesh Land Survey Education’. 18. ‘Infrastructure Development of Lalmai Degree College in Sadar Dakshin Upazila of Cumilla District’. 19. ‘Establishment of Nine Government Colleges’. 20. ‘Infrastructure Development of Existing Polytechnic Institutes to Create Opportunities for Admission of More Students’. 21. ‘Construction of Climate Impact Tolerant Infrastructure in Selected Educational Institutions in Tajumuddin Upazila of Bhola District in Coastal Area’. 22. ‘Construction of Kutkura Technical and Business Management College Climate Impact Tolerant Infrastructure under Haluaghat Upazila of Mymensingh District’.

  1. ‘Construction of Climate Impact Tolerant Infrastructure in Selected Educational Institutions in Bhandaria and Indukani Upazilas of Pirojpur District in Coastal Areas’. 24. ‘Development of Government Secondary Schools (323 Government Schools)’. 25. ‘Establishment of Paikgachha Agricultural College’.
    Even though, there are many officers in the institution, while trying to find the answer to the question why so many projects are in the hands of one person, the influence of that officer has been found. Most engineers from the center to the field level are angry at his attitude. All regional offices have to come to the main office in Dhaka to get approval for work of the tenders. However, in this case, the engineers complained that the file is not approved without paying a certain amount. His influence is also highest in giving jobs and transfer of officers in head office, Dhaka Zone and Dhaka Metro offices.
    Attempt to re-employ the former acting chief engineer was failed, but there are allegations that, a special syndicate has replaced the current chief engineer by violating seniority. Almost everyone knows that this influential officer is the main one in determining the strategy of this syndicate. Engineers in Dhaka and three adjoining districts have lodged a written complaint alleging that the name of the education minister has being tarnished as their home district is same.
    In the written complaint, it was said that, “One of the key members of the syndicate is engineer Abul Hashem Sardar, who pays huge sums of money to the BNP fund through his childhood friend Kankara Manik, also a BNP leader from Chandpur. Through this syndicate,huge sum of money was collected illegally from BNP-Jamaat backed contractors across the country for hiring the former chief engineer on the same post on contract basis. But the effort did not come to help. Then, Arifur Rahman was replaced there as his alternative.
    The complaint further revealed that, Abul Hashem Sardar has created his own circle in the office introducing himself as a man of the education minister. As a result, even the chief engineer does not want to say something about him in fear of harassment.
    Meanwhile, dissatisfaction is prevailing among the concerned officials of the institutionas one person was given the responsibility of more than two dozen projects.
    While talking, some executive engineers said, “There are multiple projects, but no adequate manpower.But, the work of over two dozen projects is on one hand, is unprecedented.
    When this correspondent tried to contact with the Executive Engineer Md. Abul Hashem Sardar, he did not response.
    While contacted over cell phone,Assistant Engineer Md. Sirajul Islam told The Daily Industry that, “If my boss (CE Arifur Rahman) gives me charge of so much project, what can I do. I am obedient to follow his order.”
    Regarding the allegation, Chief Engineer Md. Arifur Rahman said, ‘Yes, Abul Hashem Sardar and some other officers have a lot of work to do. But they are not PD of the whole project. They are performing as assigned responsibility or charge. So, you can’t tell them PD. However, we are facing trouble for want of adequate manpower. This is why, one man is serving as PD of more than one projects.”
    When he was asked that, there are many other officers in the office, but why only those persons have got the charge of these projects, he declined to answer.
    Md. Mahbub Hossain, Secretary for the Department of Secondary and Higher Education under the Ministry of Education said, “How can one get so much work? It can’t be. It is unethical. Not only that, it is one kind of violation of the Prime Minister’s instructions. Their excuses are not acceptable.”

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