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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Saturday, February 2, 2013
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What if Abul was included as accused

Had the Anti-Corruption Commission accused former minister Syed Abul Hossain in the case filed for graft conspiracy in the Padma bridge project, the bridge construction would have started in May or June this year, according to a World Bank road map.

A government official said the global lender in late December, 2012, sent a detailed road map to the government regarding implementation of the Padma bridge project.

The road map said if the ACC started a fair investigation into the graft allegations, the bridge construction work would start.

The road map said the co-financiers would appoint an independent task manager within three to four weeks, who would have overseen the bridge construction work.

Four construction managers would have been appointed for different components, including bridge construction and river training, within one to two weeks.

The road map included a timeline by which the construction managers would complete the tasks of preparation of procurement document and awarding of work to the bidders.

The detailed plan in December envisaged that the bridge construction work would start in five to six months.

But the implementation of the road map had become uncertain as the ACC and the World Bank's external panel could not agree on including former minister Syed Abul Hossain in the FIR filed by the anti-graft watchdog.

On Tuesday, referring to the World Bank's road map, reporters asked Finance Minister AMA Muhith whether the work on beginning the bridge construction would have started in that month had the ACC agreed with the external panel.

Muhith said, “No, it is not true. It is a proposal. There is no signal from the World Bank.”

Muhith, however, said he had differences of opinion with the World Bank regarding the timeline of the road map. He said, “We want to start the project work the day the World Bank says yes.”

The external panel in December last year said had Abul's name been included in the FIR, they would have given the green signal to the World Bank to finance the bridge.

Executive Director for Bangladesh of the World Bank Mukesh N Prasad reiterated this position in early January in Washington.

Last year, upon reviving the cancelled loan for Padma bridge, the World Bank came up with some documents stating that several people, including former communication minister Abul, sought 10 percent of the $50 million contract from Canadian company SNC Lavalin in exchange for making it the top bidder in the bridge construction supervision tender.

Abul's name was mentioned in connection with the bribe in Lavalin official Ramesh Saha's diary. Saha had been arrested by the Canadian police for corrupt practices in the project.

Abul, along with high officials, had allegedly held private meetings with Lavalin officials in 2011.

To qualify Lavalin as the top bidder, the Bridges Division had dissolved three tender evaluation committees and gave the fourth committee incomplete information about the actual lowest bidder.

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Survival of the fittest. People oversaw the development and would decide which side was correct.

: Md Shahjahan

Millions suffer so that one corrupt individual may prosper. Shame.

: Javed


  • Iqbal
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 01:36 PM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Countrymen, try to understand, Abul is a good man and a real patriot, PM said. Don't show your courage to say Abul is the perpetrator. Mind it.

  • Luminiferous
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 01:53 PM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Growing up in Bangladesh we learned a country is more valuable than a party and a party is more valuable than a person. We see this ideology get implemented in this part of North America every day. But now in Bangladesh what we see is that a person (PM, Minister) is more valuable than a party which is more valuable than the country. People who are resorting to this kind of expediency would definitely be held responsible because light cannot be suppressed by darkness.

  • Fadia
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 02:15 PM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Then he would have spilled the beans that would compromise the PM & her family at the top of the list in the scandal.

  • Ronnie
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 02:44 PM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    The question that remains unanswered is that why the government had to give up such an important project just to save an ordinary person like Abul Hossain. Was Abul asking for 10% commission from Lavalin for someone else who does not want to stained?

  • Tirtho Mahmud
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 09:39 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Is the Anti-Corruption Commission more efficient than the Royal Canadian Mounties? Don't think so. If they arrested the corrupt Canadian executive, that was enough to bring Abul under scrutiny, if not a full-fledged arrest warrant for him. So, to save that shameless person, the government and its cronies caused millions and millions of dollars to go waste in cost accounting terms. Can you imagine how deplorable and unforgivable this is? I guess the PM knows, but she does not care, as she never did.

  • MAG Osmani
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 12:33 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    When the country suffers from economic growth, there are few people playing with livelihood of the mass and they are yet not ashamed. What a damage being done? Destroyed the relation with the WB and the reputation of the country internationally.

    Why should we accept a bridge now without railway and who decides that? What right the PM and the rest of the cabinet have to justify the modified version without railway is a big question and it is the biggest scandal in our history. The PM and the Finance minister must answer to the people or both of them should resign. It is a SHAME.

  • S. M. Rahman
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 01:06 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    How Abul could be included? Abul represents someone else, it is as simple as that.

  • Robin
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 01:42 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    When I apply for a mortgage in the US, I follow all the letters of the words of the underwriters. That's how western lenders operate. Bangladesh simply doesn't understand the process and apply Bangladeshi style to western loan. The result is what the entire country witnessed yesterday.

    Muhith failed, Hasina failed and Bangladeshi people lost a big time. Arrogance has no room in this global economy.

  • naabaj
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 02:28 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    The government should give a candid answer to the people on the Padma Bridge issue.

  • Labu Khan
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 02:27 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    I really feel ashamed to be a Bangladeshi especially when persons like Abul Hossain, the main conspirator of the Padma bridge corruption case, goes unpunished even though Abul's name was mentioned in connection with the bribe in Lavalin official Ramesh Saha's diary. I have a feeling that implicating Abul in this case may have exposed some big names. Shame on you PM.

  • Barkat
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 03:45 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Abul may be protected now by the PM. She had even called him a patriot. However that doesn't mean that Abul is protected forever.

    You (Abul) have few options left out. Either to leave the country forever once your protector is not in power or make Dhaka Central Jail your permanent future home. But if the people of Bangladesh are unfortunate to do that with you than also you have one more final court to face. And in that court neither your madam nor all your best tact can save you. Be aware that you don't make excuse that no one warn you of that final court. Even you know in that court nothing but truth will prevail.

  • ANO
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 05:30 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Try to understand.

  • Supria Dhar PH.D.
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 06:01 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    One Abul is worth billions for Bangladesh. He is a precious diamond for whom country's 165 million people will pay a heavy price. What a country we live in?

  • Mohammed Ullah
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 06:19 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Bangladeshis living at home and abroad are fed up with the activities of the PM and her Abuls. What Sheikh Mujibur Rahman earned by uniting the nation and presented them an independent state at the cost of 3m people, but all gone with the wind by 4 years rule of AL. A dark history is created.

  • Shatyabadi
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 06:35 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Withdrawing the loan request from the World Bank is the last effort to ensure that the PM and her family are not named in the corruption.

  • Asad Zaman
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 09:41 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Now it is too late. The BD train has left the WB station; please watch for the ‘next station’ “on the top of the Padma Bridge”. Also note: the ACC in fact started a serious investigation (into the conspiracy of corruption case) on the basis of the latest information provided by the WB. But the global lender is not satisfied. Who on earth will judge whether the measure taken by the ACC is fare or not? Is it the WB or the sound evidence that corroborate the crime? As the WB is not yet satisfied, the government of Bangladesh made the right decision to start the work of the bridge with alternative fund(s). So now the ‘What If’ (someone was included) question is just meaningless; however it can only create division among people.

  • Arun Barua, USA
    Saturday, February 2, 2013 09:49 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    The ACC, a puppet body, would never be allowed to be included in the case for investigation. If one pulls the ear the whole body will be dragged. The fear was that Abul will bring the motorcade of big culprits to the ACC and hence the PM will try her best to stop the ACC from including Abul in the report and she, only she has the courage to sacrifice the bridge.





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