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Unexplained fourth time extension for BSCCL chief

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12th-Jan-2017       
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THE fourth time extension of the current Managing Director Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), not only raises the question -- whether Bangladesh has become devoid of expert engineers to spearhead the country's prime Submarine Cable Operator, but also the burning question - based on what criterion are crucial appointments given in this country?

However, the fourth extension has been realized amidst a number of unsettled issues following a plethora of corruption charges surrounding him. First, the probe committee report on the collapse of the wall of the country's second biggest Submarine Cable Landing Station at Kuakata, submitted last February reportedly accused the then MD besides a number of project associates for the disaster. Second, his third term in office ended last November, but by displaying a sheer defiance to the selective committees list of potential candidates he reigns in supreme by holding on to his office which he has been occupying since 2006. Moreover, according to BSCCL sources, the age bar was mysteriously upgraded from 52 to 62 in 2014 in order to ensure his staying at office. Even more mysteriously, the High Court registered a writ challenging his re-appointment in the same year but the hearing of the writ petition has not taken place as yet. It seems, as if, the ominous presence of a dark force has been safeguarding him within our legal system.

Apart from the stated irregularities, the MD is also accused of certifying the questionable contractor for building the flawed landing station design at Kuakata by stating 'timely finished and the completion of work satisfactory'. Needs to be mentioned, such certification can only be issued by project director according to the rules of government procurement law. 

According to news reports, the state minister for Posts and Telecommunications is yet to receive any report including the landing station probe findings of last year.  Such blatant indiscretion in sharing crucial probe report is unacceptable.

We draw immediate attention of the minister for Posts and Communications, otherwise, the Prime Minister herself regarding the notoriety of the BSCCL high-up. Such poor choice in appointing and then repeatedly extending the tenure of a controversial figure must not happen again.
 
We clearly mark a sequence of active irregularities in the government's bureaucratic procedures of appointing important public office holders. Moreover, we take note of how probe committee reports are deliberately kept in the dark so to provide a leeway for offenders.

The company which is expected to be the main telecommunications infrastructure for "Digital Bangladesh" by the year 2021 by effectively connecting the people to the "Information Super Highway" should not be left in the hands of such controversial individual. We are worried for the BSCCL's future.    

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