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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
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Wasa bigwigs 'forced' to quit

Graft allegations found

Chairman and Managing Director (MD) of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) allegedly resigned under pressure from the government, Wasa official sources said.

The MD was forced to resign for indulging in corruption, irregularities and nepotism, sources added.

Wasa Chairman Abdullah Harun Pasha and its MD Maj (Retd) Raihanul Abedin tendered their resignations on April 8 last.

Engineer Dr Golam Mostafa was appointed as the chairman of Wasa the next day.

Raihanul (MD) was called in the local government rural development and cooperatives (LGRD) ministry on April 8 and asked to resign immediately, said official sources.

Joint Secretary (Water Supply) to the LGRD ministry Shahjahan Ali Mollah said that he was not aware of any government pressure for resignation.

A new MD might be appointed within the current week, said Mollah, adding that the government will appoint the MD as per the proposal of the Wasa Board chairman.

“I resigned on personal and health ground,” said Abedin while Pasha said, “I resigned thinking that the new government would need a new set-up for the organisation.”

The allegations against Abedin include occupying a palatial residential house of Wasa, corruption and nepotism in appointment, promotion and transfer; unauthorised use of official transport; use of staff for personal purposes.

He has allegedly recruited 331 fourth and third-class employees on muster roll in exchange for bribes and because they were all from greater Comilla region, as he himself hails from Chandpur.

Two deputy managing directors out of four, two additional chief engineers, two out of ten superintending engineers and most of those on muster roll are from greater Comilla, added sources.

The MD is entitled to use one vehicle while Abedin used two for his family members at the cost of Wasa.

Regarding the house he occupied Abedin said, as per the Wasa act of 1996 chief executive of the organisation is entitled to it.

But as per the act the chairman of the Wasa is the chief executive not the MD, officials said.

He claimed that he took initiatives during the caretaker government to retrieve a six-bigha palatial house of Wasa in Gulshan, which had been rented out to people without any legal authority.

“A government residential house cannot be rented out,” he added.

As for the unauthorised use of transport Abedin said, “It has been a practice for long.”

Regarding recruitment he said employees were appointed on the basis of merit. Wasa was expanded from six to 11 zones during his tenure and it was in need of more manpower, which is still staff-starved.

Abedin got a three-year contractual appointment to Wasa in August 2007 during the caretaker government regime.

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Wasa has a long tradition of corruption ; the overhauling of Wasa set up that was a part of Syedabad Project financed by World Bank did little to improve services to the people and mitigate corruption within the organisation. Changes of people have taken place from time to time without a positive change in the administration. Much of Wasa revenues have been lapped up by the corrupt people and thus the system loss of the organisation remains high. It is the people who bear the brunt. We welcome the recent change but can we hope that the new set of people at the top will herald a coruption-free era ?

: husain,sm

This is a completely corrupted department and needs complete overhauling.

: MOLLA A.LATIF

Comments

  • Dr M M Kamal Bokul
    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 03:25 PM GMT+06:00 (325 weeks ago)

    Corruptions and nepotisms are the parts and parcels of our society. This is why our country is still far lagging behind the developed world. We have systems but there are no right implementations of the systems. Honesty is the best policy is no longer ,at least , applicable to our society. Nonetheless, still there are some good things in our society. These giving us hopes and aspirations to look forward.

  • shawkat ali
    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 06:52 PM GMT+06:00 (325 weeks ago)

    It's grossly outrageous that the so-called guardians of WASA enjoyed regal luxury while ordinary citizens have been compelled to drink and use stinky water with worms crawling. One cannot but ask questions: aren't they Bangladeshis? Do they have children? If so, they have only incurred the curse and hate from the sufferers.

  • Nitish Kumar
    Monday, April 13, 2009 11:24 PM GMT+06:00 (325 weeks ago)

    Suddenly a number of high officials have come unhealty to continue their duties and responsibilities. All these are happening to create space for the Awami League men, for example, Mr Golam Mostafa. Mr Mostafa never had any experience of running any organization. Most of his life he worked as an employee of the consulting firm DDC.

  • Humayun Kabir
    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 02:33 AM GMT+06:00 (325 weeks ago)

    I am so pleased to learn about the removal of these corrupt and incompetent people from WASA. I urge the government to do the same for other vital state bodies and ensure that people who pay taxes to run them can get their money's worth. This is what is expected of a clean government, not speeches, talks and words of promise, but actions.


 

 


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