Despite government sincerity, a good number of rural subscribers in greater Dhaka are facing difficulties in getting electricity connection in time.
According to a survey report of IMER, about 71 percent of rural subscribers in 21 districts of Dhaka division faced harassment in getting electricity connection from a new power project.An inspection report of MIED (Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division) on the project found a good number of subscribers had to pay illegal money and faced delay and other sufferings to get the connections. The project will create some four lakh new power subscribers.
Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) picked up the project in 2014 at a cost of Tk 1,645 crore with a target to complete it by June 2018 which was later extended by one year up to June next year.
IMED recently conducted a close monitoring to the project after Tk 1,248 crore or 75.87 percent of the estimated project cost was spent, official sources said.
It found irregularities, grafts and mismanagement at different levels of implementation of the Rural Electrification Expansion Dhaka Divisional Programme-2.
97 subscribers had to pay additional money in getting BREB’s power connection under the project, while 78 percent subscribers faced delay, the report said.
Even though 49 percent subscribers got power connection within one month of their application, 16 percent had to wait more than six months to get the connection. 23 percent subscribers got connection in more than one month while 12 percent had to wait for two to six months.So far, 2.78 lakh subscribers out of four lakh got electricity connection. BREB completed construction of 9,654km line out of 10,000km and 50 substations out of 50.
The project is now facing metre crisis as there is no trace of 1.22 lakh metres although four lakh metres were procured under the scheme, the report suggests.
The report says the project mismanagement cuased additional spending in some components, adding that Tk 28.51 crore could have been saved if efficiency was showed in selecting technology for substations and transformers.
About weakness in project preparation, IMED mentioned that providing four lakh new connections would have been possible even constructing less number of substations.
It argued that 69.5 percent subscribers got connections although only 16 substations are complete and 34 are yet to be constructed.
Same contractors are working for different BRED projects in the country at a time, which has created scope for shift project materials from one project to another as project name is not stamped on project materials, according to the report.
In case of 1.22 lakh metre missing, project materials might have been shifted from these project to another similar project, fears IMED.
In its physical inspection, IMED indentified a number of project execution anomalies, including installing less number of poles, absence of skywires in most of 33kv lines, tilted poles, use of broken poles and design faults.
Most of the lines have not been installed near roadside and some lines lack transformers.
Palli Bidyut Samities will install the transformers with their own money.
IMED expressed fear that it will hamper regular activities of the samities and create scope of irregularities, people harassment and resentment among them.
“Some anomalies have been found at different implementation levels of the project. The report indicating problems has already been sent to the concered office with a set of recommendations,” commented IMED Secretary Md Mofizul Islam.
The project will yield better results once the project is implemented complying with the recommendations, he said.