Sunday, November 1, 2020 | ePaper

ADB`s blacklisted cos trying to grab WASA's Tk 400 crore dev project

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Al Amin :
Three blacklisted companies of Asian Development Bank (ADB) are trying to get work order of a water development project of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA). The cost of the project has been fixed at around Tk400 crore.
The three companies-- Jaha Enterprise (Jaha), Paruma Engineering Works (Paruma) and SA Enterprise (SAE)-- owned by Ahsan Habib Lelin, Chairman of Nilsagar Group-- which were involved in Basic Bank loan fraud, took part in the WASA's tender using different strategies recently. The Anti-Corruption Commission has also filed at least dozen of cases against Lenin.
Even after being blacklisted by ADB, the companies are still lobbying with the high authority to grab the work order of the WASA's 'Dhaka Water Supply Network Improvement Project' which is financed by ADB.
Earlier, the three companies got work orders of two projects of the WASA, project financed by ADB, worth Tk 800 crore. The two projects are Dhaka Water Supply Development Project (DWASDP) and Dhaka Water Supply Network Improvement Project (DWSNIP).
The first one has already been completed and the other one is underway. The contractor of the project is now using different tricks to increase the cost of it. WASA sources said David Binnons, Head of the Integrity Committee of the ADB Anti-Corruption and Integrity Secretariat, sent an e-mail to DWASA's Managing Director Taksim A Khan on July 17. In the message, the ADB informed that the three contractors were banned for bidding any tender of ADB financed project for the next three years.
The ADB also informed that the tender applications of the three companies were not accepted due to their fraud and irregularities.
It also informed that the blacklisted three companies could not take part in any bidding during this time of any other projects financed by ADB as evidence of fraud and irregularities has been found against the companies.
Followed by the ADB letter, Sharmin Haque Amir, Secretary of WASA, sent show cause notice against Ahsan Habib Lelin and Atik Hossain Rabbi on July 23. On the other hand, the main agenda of the 260-263th board meeting of the WASA was the irregularities of tender of Dhaka Water Supply Network Improvement Project and most of the board members suggested for retendering.
They also informed WASA's managing director that 4 out of 10 companies are indentified as 'responsive bidders' and lowest bidder was excluded from the list due to 'conflict of interest.' So, the opinion of the ADB is essential for retendering, the board members opined.
Following the meeting, the WASA authority sought ADB's opinion and as per the ADB's recommendation, the WASA considered to give the work order of the DWASDP to China Construction Second Engineering Bureau RFL Plastics Ltd. But the Nilsagar Group pressurized the WASA authority to get the work order using political influence.
"Two board members help the three companies to get the work orders and keep pressure the WASA authority," said WASA official wishing to be unnamed.
About the allegation, Arman Habib, Executive Director of Nilsagar Group, told The New Nation, "We are yet to be informed formally about the blacklist by the ADB. Investigation of the cases of Basic Bank is going on and we are facing the cases legally."
Aktaruzzaman, Project Director of the Dhaka Water Supply Network Improvement Project, said, "Their (Lelin's three companies) tenders have been cancelled following an ADB letter and the WASA authority has issued show cause notice against them. They have already replied to the notice."
"The acceptance of their answers is being scrutinized. The outcome will be informed to the WASA very soon and the WASA will take action as per the rule," he added.

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