TIB demands new MD for Dhaka Wasa, removal of board members

 

The Daily Star September 19, 2020

Star Online Report

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) today demanded appointment of a new managing director of Dhaka Wasa — with qualifications and experience in the relevant sector — in a transparent manner, before the tenure of the present MD expires in October.

In a statement, the anti-graft watchdog also demanded a complete and impartial audit of the “questionable” appointment and reappointment of the current MD, for the welfare of the organisation and its beneficiaries.

TIB also demanded the removal of the members of Dhaka Wasa Board due to its inability to prevent corruption.

TIB has strongly condemned the proposal to reappoint the current MD in an “unethical and unlawful way” — tantamount to safeguard of corruption.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman in the statement said it is certain that the Dhaka Wasa Board is not fulfilling its responsibilities properly, or is not being allowed to do so.

Despite all the serious allegations of failure and irregularities, the questionable appointment and continuation of the reappointment to the post, has turned the state’s commitment to good governance in the country into a farce, the statement said.

“According to media and reliable direct sources, the special meeting of the Dhaka Wasa Board has only mentioned the name of the current MD and asked him to finalise the recommendation for reappointment for another three-year term,” read the statement.

The TIB statement also said there is no mention whether application for the post was called as per the rules, who applied, why they were not considered eligible, or why the current MD is the only suitable candidate, why it is necessary to renew the term to the same person in defiance of the relevant rules.

On the other hand, the suffering of the people during the decade-long tenure of the present MD is not unknown to anyone, it added.

Allegations of unprecedented irregularities and corruption in the implementation and service level of many small and large projects of Wasa have been raised in TIB’s research and some of its issues are under investigation.

Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “After the controversial appointment of the current MD in 2009, he has been serving for 11 consecutive years for five consecutive terms in a questionable process.”

According to media reports and other reliable sources, every time he has renewed his appointment, there has been some violation of law and rules, he said.

Due to allegation during his first appointment process, the concerned ministry was asked to remain careful in the next appointment, he added. “This is not only a clear violation of the law, but also an example of the shameless institutionalisation of a culture of abuse of power and collusion.”

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