Irregularities in implementation put the ‘Navigational Aids to Mongla Port’ project suspended which is about 23 crore taka’s project. It is remained suspended from mid June this year.
Earlier, a three-member probe committee of Implementation Monitoring and Executing Department (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning submitted a report to the secretary of shipping ministry, suggesting removal of the project director, Harbour Master of Mongla Port Commander Enamul Haque, as the allegations of irregularities were found true.
Following the nine-page report of the committee headed by IMED Assistant Director Babulal Rabi Das on June 8, Enamul Haque was stripped off his authority to work as the project director pending investigation against him.
The shipping ministry also stopped all works related with project soon after receiving report on probe findings.
Commander Enamul Haque is also facing an enquiry into allegations against him by another three-member committee headed by Md Alauddin, joint secretary (Administration) of the Ministry of Shipping.
The ministry formed the high-powered committee on April 4.
The government undertook the project in May 2008 for improvement of navigational system including construction of a light tower to enable ships ply the sea and rivers safely both at daytime and during night. The project was to complete by 2012.
Tenders for the project were invited three times from January 20 last year. But work order could not be given to the deserving winner reportedly due to reluctance and high-handedness of project director Commander Enamul Huq.
“Gross irregularities and corrupt practices in tendering process were detected during investigation by the IMED team that visited Mongla on May 6 to enquire into the cause for delay in giving work order,” said Md Mahbub Ullah, director (Traffic) of Mongla Port Authority.
The report recommended punishment for the persons responsible for delaying implementation of the project through different tactics for illegal financial gain.
The IMED team conducted the enquiries following written allegations made by the second lowest tenderer of the project Md Nazmul Haque Khan, proprietor of Messers Arup Enterprise in Khulna.
Besides, one Habibur Rahman of Bagerhat wrote an application to the Prime Minister’s Office alleging different corrupt practices and unfair means committed by the project director in dealing with project affairs.
Contacted by this correspondent on Tuesday, Enamul Huq denied the allegations against him, saying, “None of the tenderers qualified for the project. So I had to delay for re-tender.”
The high level three-member team did not take his statement during investigation into the allegations, he added.
The chairman of Mongla Port Authority, Commander AK Azad, said that a new project director would be appointed soon for re-start work for implementation of the project.