The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested Khairul Huda Chapal, a local contractor, for his alleged involvement in irregularities and graft in implementing haor embankment projects in Sunamganj, which ultimately caused flood catastrophe in haors damaging paddy fields at a time when the harvesting time is set to start, reports UNB.
An ACC team arrested Chapal, also president of Sumamganj district chapter of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), from Shahjalal International Airport early Wednesday, ACC spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya informed, reports UNB.
On July 2, 2017, ACC assistant director Md Faruk Ahmed filed a case against 61 people, including 15 officials of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Sunamganj Police Station for their alleged involvement in irregularities in implementing haor embankment projects in Sunamganj.
The 15 BWDB officials sued by the ACC are former executive engineer (Sunamganj) Afsar Uddin, former superintending engineer (Sylhet) Nurul Islam Sarkar, former additional chief engineer (northwest zone) Md Abdul Hye, deputy divisional engineers (Sunamganj) Deepak Ranjan Das and Khalilur Rahman, and section officers (Sunamganj) Md Shahidullah, Ibrahim Khalilullah Khan, Khandaker Ali Reaz, Md Rafiqul Islam, Shah Alam, Barkat Ullah Bhuiyan, Mahmudul Karim, Md Mosaddek, Sajib Paul and Md Jahangir Hossain.
The proprietors or representatives of 46 local construction firms involved in repairing or constructing embankments in haors are also accused in the case.
According to the first information report (FIR), the BWBD officials in collusion with each other gave clearance to the contractors violating the basic contract rules to continue the unfinished works of 84 packages of fiscal 2015-16 without calling new tenders in fiscal 2016-17.
The contractors did not start works on nine packages out of 160 and completed partial works of the remaining 151 packages, paving the way to plunder money from the future haor projects and thus caused huge losses to famers.
The FIR said the BWDB took a 6.5-km embankment project in 2011 to prevent flashflood in Sunamganj. The project was supposed to be completed in 2015, but it is extended up to June 2019 due to delay in launching the project.
Immediately after filing the case on July 2 last, the ACC arrested two accused -- former BWDB executive engineer Afsar Uddin and proprietor of Ibrahim Traders Md Bachhu Miah -- from the city's Motijheel area.