692 crore project at Chhatak Cement Factory Money embezzlement and huge syndicate in Harilute

Mosharraf Hossain Liton Sunamganj District

Concerns have been raised about the implementation and sustainability of the new project of Chhatak Cement Company, the only full-fledged cement factory in the country under the control of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC).

Chhatak Cement Factory is a quarter of Harilut involved in the multi-crore conspiracy of the Balancing Modernization Renovation and Expansion (BMRE) project to modernize. Several investigations are underway from the higher echelons of the BCIC in the wake of various allegations and media coverage. But so far no action has been taken against the syndicates involved in Harilut.

It is known that the demand and reputation of Diamond brand cement produced in this factory is also outside the country. In the past, instead of modernizing the factory, attempts were made to privatize the factory. Later, with the efforts of Muhibur Rahman Manik MP, a member of the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Industries and the initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the ECNEC Modernization Dry Process Project was approved on March 8, 2016 to transform the factory from a wet process to a dry process project. Nanjing Sea-Hope, a Chinese contractor, started work on the new project in September 2019 at a cost of Tk 892 crore after receiving work orders through international tenders. Since the start of work, there have been allegations of widespread corruption and looting in the project.

According to a complaint lodged by a person named Abdur Rashid of Chhatak along with the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission, although Nanjing Sea-Hope got the job, it is under the control of several BCIC officials and the Country Director of Nanjing Sea-Hope. Formerly, the country director of Nanjing Sea-Hope, Dr. participated in an international tender for the purchase of control bulbs in the horse manure factory. Nazir Md. Khan. In the tender, he got the purchase order as the lowest bidder. A few days after the bulb supply, these become siege and factory production is disrupted.

At that time, BCIC blacklisted his firm MM Service. The Chittagong Chemical Complex is closed today due to their corruption. Under the BMRE project of Chhatak Cement Factory, two more companies of Dr. Nazir Md. Khan participated in three international tenders for the purchase of excavators, air compressors, drum trucks, frock lifters, locomotive engines and wheel loaders. Digital Machineries and Seconic Bangladesh. His company was selected as the lowest bidder in all the three tenders. He is accused of supplying substandard machineries against the two companies. Though there was talk of constructing 1 km railway line with three tenders, his company took the bill without these. Besides, a foreign consultant was appointed at a cost of Tk 6 crore to supervise the new project of Chhatak Cement Factory.

There are also allegations that the consultants are regularly collecting bills without inspecting the project. . Although the BMRE project of Chhatak Cement Factory is supposed to follow European, American and Japanese standards, FM Bari, the project director and managing director of the factory, and Lutfur Rahman, the director of BCIC, are managing some of the substandard Chinese goods supplied to the factory. Already the price of a kilon has been taken at Rs 60 crore. In fact, the value of the Chinese A kilon is Rs 20 crore, said a former MD of Chhatak Cement Factory. Meanwhile, according to the work order, a vertical boiler was supposed to be brought at a cost of Tk 150 crore, but a horizontal boiler worth Tk 7 crore has been brought to the factory without any drawing approval. According to the BCIC guidelines, all the work on the project is supposed to be done with high quality stones imported from Dubai, but most of the crushing limestone is being used.

Several engineers have expressed the opinion that it is not at all suitable for such heavy construction work. Allegedly, ten and a half thousand tons of stone have already been used. Of which only 2600 tons were imported from Dubai. The rest is crushing limestone here. In the opinion of the experienced quarters, if important installation work is done with crushing limestone, there is a risk of major loss to the company if the limestone melts at any time as the temperature of the plant increases.

Meanwhile, the Diamond Brand Cement Factory, which was established in 1938, was supposed to be a new project, but the factory was shut down due to the limestone crisis. On the other hand, by investing in this factory, the money of a mahal project has been looted.

They are embezzling millions of rupees on the pretext of cutting and demolishing different parts of the factory. Millions of rupees worth of parts and scrap goods are being sold illegally. A number of people in the area said that local and factory officials were involved in the scam. The condition of the factory is such that it is being plundered in any way it can. It is as if a festival of looting is going on. Abdul Quddus, CBA secretary of Chhatak Cement Factory, said the contractor was working as he wished as there was no monitoring committee locally. FM Bari, project director and MD of the factory, said he had heard of some irregularities. However, a committee has been formed to look into the matter. He avoided the use of crushing limestone. Country Director Dr Nazir Mohammad Khan could not be reached for comment.

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Author: Md Borhan Mia

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