Sunday, 26 September, 2021

Maddhapara mining company at risk of closure

  • Special Correspondent
  • 24 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The government is yet to make any decision about appointing a contractor for Maddhapara Granite Mining Company Ltd (MGMCL) although the deal with current company will expire on September 2.

According to the legal experts, a contractor must be appointed at least six months before the deal with the existing one expires.

But the deal with the Belarus-based company Germania Trest Consortium (GTC) will expire just in 10 days.

There is no decision yet if the deal with the current company GTC will be expanded or a new farm will be appointed through an international tender.

If no contractor is finalized within the time, the country’s lone rock mining company will be in crisis and mining of the rock will be stopped, officials feared.

A number of mega projects including Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Payra Plant, Matarbari Plant and the construction of Hazrat Shahjalal Airport’s third terminal will also be in trouble as they depend on the Maddapara Granite Mining Company for granite rocks.

Besides, if the company is closed, more than 700 workers and employees will become unemployed.

The nearby Barapukuria Coal Mine in Dinajpur faced the same situation as deal with China-based CMC-XMC Consortium expired on 10 August. Two-thirds of the employees and workers at the coal mine lost their jobs.

A top official of the said, “The efforts are continuing and this will be finalised before the deal expires. We are working to complete it within the time so the activities of the company do not stop.”

He said tenders had been called seven times to appoint a contractor for this company.

“But the international companies did not respond due to the coronavirus pandemic. We hope this will be completed within September 2,” he said.

However, the people related with the sector alleged the decision to appoint a contractor was being delayed due to a syndicate who want to put the company into crisis.

The syndicate will then capitalise on the crisis to appoint a contractor of their own through the charge of commission, they alleged.

Sources said the Belarus-based company made a profit around Tk 50 crore as it worked for three consecutive terms. For this reason, the government has decided in principle to extend the deal with the GTC. But the syndicate was trying not to let it happen, the sources alleged.

An official of MGMCL, however, said if no decision was made with 2 September, the company would be closed.

Another official said while other mining companies reduced their workers and staff by half during the pandemic, the MGMCL continued mining maintaining health guidelines.

He said the company mined 1.1 trillion tonnes of rock during the time which was 20 percent higher than the normal time.