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20 December, 2017 12:28:03 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 December, 2017 08:44:14 AM

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Non-technical PD for technical project

Mongla-Pakshi-Rooppur Plant channel dredging
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
Non-technical PD for technical project

Eyebrows have been raised after a non-technical official was appointed the project director (PD) of a highly technical project of the shipping ministry, in violation of a proposal approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). What has amazed observers even more is that the shipping minister has told The Independent that even he does not know about the appointment of a non-technical person as the PD for the project to dredge the stretch from Mongla port to Pakshi via Chandpur-Mawa-Gualanda to the site of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP).

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the shipping ministry has taken up the dredging project in accordance with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directives to ensure the smooth transportation of heavy equipment to the RNPP site via waterways.

According to the ECNEC’s approval, such a project director must be a BSc engineer (civil), but, on November 1, the public administration ministry appointed Syful

Hasan Badol, a joint secretary of the health ministry who possesses no technical knowledge, as the PD for the highly technical dredging project.

The ECNEC approved the Tk.

956-crore project on August 1, with PM Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

In a bizarre turn of events, shipping minister Shajahan Khan told The Independent yesterday: “I really don’t know about the appointment of a new PD for the project.” The government has appointed Syful Hasan Badol as the PD for the project, BIWTA chairman Commodore M Mozammel Huq told this correspondent. “We have nothing to say about the appointment. The government has appointed him, considering him to be competent for the project,” he added.

When asked whether the appointment flouted the DPP, he merely replied, “No comment.”

The Bangladesh Navy is implementing the dredging project, the BIWTA chairman said.

According to sources in the shipping ministry, a section of government officials was behind the appointment of such a non-technical official to a highly technical project, ignoring technical officials from the department concerned.

“Such a decision—to appoint a non-technical person—has been taken to put the government in an embarrassing position. We are worried about the fate of the project,” an official of the shipping ministry told this correspondent on condition of anonymity. The sources added that the transportation of the heavy equipment for the RNNP will begin in the second half of 2018.

The Navy will ensure the security and safety, including the installation of navigational aids (buoys, lights and markers), along the river route till 2025, as per the agreement.

Considering the importance of the project, the Navy has been assigned the task of ensuring the safe transportation of heavy equipment to the RNPP site, which includes dredging, Commodore M Mozammel Huq said.

Dr Mohammad Shawkat Akbar, project director of the RNPP, said they will begin carrying the equipment from June 2018 through waterways. According to the BIWTA, around 100 lakh cubic metres of silt have to be removed in the first year to keep the route navigable throughout the year from Mongla and Chittagong seaports to the RNPP site. Besides, 35 to 45 lakh cubic metres of silt have to be dredged every year under maintenance dredging, sources said.

The state-run Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) signed a deal with the Russian firm, Rosatom, on December 25, 2015, to set up two nuclear power plants, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW), involving a total investment of USD 12.65 billion.

MK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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