TIB expresses concern over Rooppur irregularities

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 23:17, May 22, 2019 | Updated : 23:18, May 22, 2019

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed concerns about the abnormally high prices of articles being used to furnish apartments in multi-storey buildings at the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project (RNPP) in Pabna.
In a statement on Wednesday (May 22), the organization urged the government to take the highest action to ensure the transparency and accountability of the project, as well as strict legal action against those responsible.
TIB for strict enforcement of law in transport sectorTIB Executive Director, Dr Iftekharuzzaman, said: “Despite controversy over the most expensive project in the country's history, it is being implemented as a priority project by the government. But since we have seen irregularities right at the beginning, it is a red flag for the transparency of the project rollout in the future.”
“The approximate construction cost of this power plant is set at Tk1,13,000 crore. Clearly lack of transparency is a concern if there are irregularities in the expenditure of only Tk25 crore that has been spent so far,” he said.
Dr Zaman said: "According to published information, although the level of irregularity is very low, this is not the first time in Bangladesh that government officials and contractors have been accused of corruption in such government projects.”
“Exemplary punishment should be given as warning so that these ‘pillow-kettle’ stories do not become the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in even bigger irregularities throughout the project,” he said.
According to report by a national daily, the purchase price of various household articles used to furnish the RNPP project apartments, was unusually higher than market prices.
The purchases were made to furnish 966 apartments constructed for Russian engineers and officials working on the project.
The report said each of the pillows was purchased for Tk5,957, and the cost of transporting was Tk760 each, while an electric stove reportedly cost Tk7,747 and transporting it upstairs from the bottom floor cost Tk6,650.
The purchase price of an electric kettle was cited at Tk5,313, and its transportation cost was Tk2,945. A vacuum cleaner was reportedly purchased for Tk12,018 and transported upstairs for a charge of Tk6,650.