Ami Bangladeshi

Ami Bangladeshi

Ami Bangladeshi

Corruption, corruption and, there id no end to this 'glory!

ACC unearths huge corruption racket at Meghna-Gumti bridge sites: Tk 175 crore toll money embezzled


It is the Meghna-Gumti Bridge where the embezzlingof the toll money became the order of the day by persons noless than public officials. Taka 15 lakh were swindled everyday on an average. Now the bridge was closed as the repairwork was undertaken.  Mamunur RashidThe Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has unearthed huge corruption in toll collection from the Meghna-Gumti Bridge and found 47 officers and staffs of the Roads and Highways Department involved in embezzling Tk 175 crore of toll money.ACC Director General (Admin) Col Hanif Iqbal said as a part of its campaign to combat institutional corruption, its investigation team found the abuse of toll money of the bridge by some officers and employees of R & H Department. ACC sources said the Meghna-Gumti Bridge on the Chittagong highway was opened to traffic in 2002.Just after opening the bridge the toll collection ranged from Tk 12 lakh to Tk 15 lakh per day. The personnel of R & H Department used to collect toll through token system.However, the amount of toll jumped to Tk 30 lakh to Tk 32 lakh per day When the collection system was computerised in 2004 which means that the employees associated with toll collection swindled Tk 15 lakh on an average every day during 2002 and 2004. ACC sources further said the corrupt employees of R & H Department misappropriated the huge sum either by using one token several times or not using any token at all for the vehicles using the bridge. Another modus operandi of embezzling toll money was underhand deal with the owners of buses and trucks. Instead of issuing token they used to collect bribe from the owners on monthly basis, sources added. Replying to a question, Col.Hanif said notice would be served on the 47 officials and employees of the department. They will also be asked to submit their wealth statement to ACC, he added. He further said ACC constituted a four-member team about one month ago to investigate into the irregularities and malpractices in the collection of toll from the bridge. Deposit of insignificant amount of revenue to the national exchequer from this busiest bridge prompted ACC to look into the mechanism of toll collection from this particular bridge, he noted. The four-member investigation team undertook spot visit to the bridge several times, examined the papers and documents regarding toll collection and finally became successful in finding out the irregularities and malpractices in toll collection, he said.


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