The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has identified 10 sectors of Bangladesh Railway as “corrupted,” saying much of the graft happened during Mujibul Huq’s tenure as Railway Minister.
The 71 year old minister , who hit the limelight marrying a 29 year old lady , was replaced by Nurul Islam Sujan in 2019.
The ACC says he has also provided the ministry with 15 recommendations to curb the existing corruption in the mentioned sectors.
Stating that these sectors in the railway sector are involved in “huge corruption,” ACC Commissioner Mohamned Mozammel Haque Khan has submitted a report to the Ministry of Railways, and also put forth 15 recommendations to prevent such occurrences to the new railway ministe Nurul Islam Sujan when he took charge in 2019.
Responding to the report the minister said: “Ministry of Railways has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against corruption.
“I assure all, that the recommendations of the report will be implemented to curb corruption.”
In the report, irregularities, and corruption by the railway authorities were found in leasing, and handing over properties under the Eastern Region of Bangladesh Railway in Chittagong, and the Western Region of Rajshahi.
The report stated, a lot of ponds and lands have been illegally grabbed by railway officers, and employees.
The other corrupted sectors include: corruption in selling and buying wagons, coaches, locomotives; modernization of the signaling systems; making of double line, single line dual gaze; land acquisition; importing of new machinery instead of mobilizing its current workshops to repair those; selling of tickets in the black market; the leasing process of passenger trains. The report also observed that railway employees are depriving consumers from promised services by selling and providing low quality, and unhealthy food to the passengers with high price tags. ACC questioned the lack of supervision, and monitoring of activities by railway officials, which in its opinion stands at a bare minimum.
Recommendations for curbing ‘corruption’
The recommendations in the ACC’s report, to prevent the existing ‘corruption’ in Bangladesh Railway, include:
* Recruiting its officials from specialized institutions like IBA, BUET, BMC
* Opening e-Tendering system for leasing, buying, and selling of any sort, while getting specialized consultation from BUET/RUET/CUET/KUET/DUET during the whole process
* Listing all Bangladesh Railway properties in a digital database (both illegally grabbed, and under its possession)
* Taking legal action against illegal grabbers by conducting regular drives
* Taking necessary steps to keep the railway’s workshops, and sleeper factories running
* Making train coaches domestically to discourage import
* Following PPA and PPR to take control of tender monopoly
* Construction, and repair of new rail lines under expert supervision of BUET/RUET/CUET/KUET/DUET
* Intensify audit programs, and resolving complaints during audit programs
* Selling old railway equipments (iron made) according to PPR
* Using digital system, and regular monitoring to avoid black market ticket selling
* Taking efficiency, honesty, and devotion as standards during promotion, and transfer of railway employees
* Improving passenger services, and maintaining train schedule through overall modernization
* Proper monitoring to ensure healthy food is provided, and fixing a reasonable price of food for passengers
* Bring all railway activities undere automation
The ACC also recommended investigation against senior railway officials who were close to Mujibul Huq and connected directly to corrupted practices.