One of the top priority sectors of the government has been sluggish for nearly two weeks. In the absence of ten top and senior officials in the power division and its various organisations since September 22, hundreds of files awaiting decisions have piled up on various desks.
Sources said on September 22, nine officials led by Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad and followed by the chairman of the Power Development Board flew to Canada to attend a training programme on “Result-Based Management Implementation and Performance Indicators”.
They will return on October 7.
The other members of the team are the chiefs of power cell, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh, Dhaka Power Distribution Company, Ashuganj Power Station Company and Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh, and a couple of joint secretaries of the ministry.
Sources said that this training was best suited for junior engineers.
Meanwhile, another joint secretary of the ministry has gone to Switzerland. He will return on October 12.
“But this is not all. The state minister for power was in Japan for 15 days last month. He is set to visit Delhi from October 12 to 19,” said a source.
Their absence has had all activities and decision-making processes in the ministry, the PDB and other related organisations stalled. While the piling up of internal files goes on, representatives of different power companies that work with the government under various contracts keep visiting the offices for decisions every day.
“But there is no activity in these offices. The bosses are gone and no one is there to take a decision. It's unbelievable that the activities of the whole power sector are now stalled. Every decision now must wait until the bosses return,” quips an official.
Three years ago, the government had declared jobs in the power sector as “emergency service”. That was part of its high emphasis on filling in the gaps that had been created earlier. Ironically, three years on, this whole idea of the sector being of an emergency nature appears to have been thrown overboard, with so many senior officials in the power sector going off on jaunts abroad.