RHD engineers seek 'protection' from ministry
Their demand comes amid ACC enquiry about projects to find graft
Fearful of the widening net of Anti-Corruption Commission surveillance on them, a few hundred Roads and Highways Department engineers yesterday demanded that no organisation other than the communications ministry take action against them should they make or have made any mistakes.
They also demanded that the ministry should take responsibility for their activities. They made the demand at a meeting, held at the RHD auditorium, attended by Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, Communications Secretary Monzor Hossain and Joint Secretary (development) of the Communications Ministry Farid Uddin Ahmed. The meeting was also attended by nearly 250 engineers from across the country.
However, the communications minister, having delivered a brief speech, left the meeting before the engineers voiced their demands.
Some engineers have been in a state of panic as a three-member ACC team, formed in September to sniff out corruption, recently started scrutinising documents related to various ongoing road development projects and their expenditures. They have been meeting officials engaged in the projects and demanding to see documents.
Apart from investigating the cases against the corrupt RHD officials, the anti-graft body has also been carrying out an institutional enquiry into the RHD to dig deeper into the corruption within the department.
“If any individual indulges in corruption it will be discovered in our enquiry and action will be taken accordingly,” ACC Chairman Ghulam Rahman has told The Daily Star. He said the ACC officials could go through any documents of the RHD in the course of the enquiry.
“The ministry should punish us if there is any fault in our activities. We need a batobrikkha [a banyan tree that protects],” Superintendent Engineer of RHD Iftekhar Kabir, also vice-president of RHD Engineers' Association, told Communications Secretary Monzor Hossain at the meeting.