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Such irregularities are to be found in all government offices for the benefit of corruption not only in Titas

03 October 2022
Such irregularities are to be found in all government offices for the benefit of corruption not only in Titas

Believe it or not, many public service sectors in the country have turned into a den of irregularities, mismanagement and corruption due to continuous abuse of power by some unscrupulous and influential officials. As a result, crores of taka is downing the drain on the tip of nose of the authorities concerned, but to no headache of anyone. A recent report by a national daily reveals how 37 people have been appointed as 'security guard' of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited over the last six to seven years under the identities of dead, former or retired employees. These fake employees bagged the job by bribing Tk 90,000 to Tk 300,000 to Titas Gas corrupt officials. There was no need of fresh appointments.

An investigation report found that the culprits of such a process are employees within Titas Gas and those of Panther Security Services Ltd, the company which is supposed to supply security guards on demand from the Titas. It would be impossible for them to appoint a security guard for Titas without its approval. The responsibility to a check on such irregularities lies with Titas itself but it has failed miserably in this regard. Allegations are there that some employees even went to the contractor company just after signing the roster two days after joining for correction.  But the company suggested that they should work silently. They assured them that there would be no problem.

A recent study showed that domestic consumers with pre-paid meters reported having their gas consumption reduced to just half or even less compared to what they paid for in the fixed amount. But the city dwellers are waiting for Titas to install meters. Titas allegedly failed to stop illegal gas use, even at the heart of the capital Dhaka, and tried in vain to get an estimate of illegal gas users from its officials. 'There must have been lakhs of illegal gas connections,' admitted the Titas managing director himself as he blamed illegal connections and outstanding bills as major contributors to a liquidity crisis that forced it recently to seek 117 per cent rise on gas price.

Similarly, the country has also been deprived of Tk 4,697 crore for irregularities in Petrobangla's 11 companies and BPC's two companies because of corruption and irregularities. These irregularities came to the surface only when a team of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) carried out an audit on the books of these companies.

Even though a probe committee was formed in Titas in this regard, no satisfactory actions have been taken based on the probe reports as yet. Corrupt elections encourages everybody to gain by corruption. Without the change of corruption-based system no probe body would stop corruption.

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