Disappearance of coal at Barapukuria plant not an isolated incident
Prof Dr Shamsul Alam, Energy Adviser to Consumers’ Association of Bangladesh (CAB) : The incident of pilferage has become commonplace in the energy sector of the country. We, on behalf of the CAB, demanded that the cost of each sector be scrutinized. However, our plea has fallen on deaf ears. We have accommodated corruption and pilferage.
142,000 tons of coal worth over Tk 227 crore going missing from at Barapukuria power plant in Dinajpur is not an isolated incident, rather part of a periodic one.
According to media reports, the coal extraction at Barapukuria is going to be suspended. The logic behind the suspension of coal extraction is not logical. The coal extraction from the mine fell short of expectations. Coal extraction has to be continued on a regular basis, as the power plant needs 100,000 tons of coal every month. Otherwise, the northern region of the country will experience acute power outage, the mills and factories will be hit hard. Punitive actions have been taken against four officials in this connection. This does not bear any significance to me, as they are just a cog in the machine. The punishment will not help unless the evil forces responsible for the criminalization of the sector are brought to trial. We have to find out the masterminds who are pulling strings behind the scene. The government service holders are duty-bound to protect the property of the country. Stern actions have to be taken against people complicit in the crime. Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Hossen Sohel