In talking to ‘Balish Scam’ in Bangladesh

Jagodeep Das Tonu

Jagodeep Das Tonu

A theatre activist by heart; the youngest Central Committee Member of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation. He is fond of writing and photography.

You Can’t Take It with You- The twentieth-century American playwrights Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.

We all have heard this famous proverb at least once in our lifetime. It talks about the fact that how much money or wealth we earn, we can never take them with us when we die. But do we really realize!

If we see our actions, most of them are driven directly or indirectly by money. And we don’t hesitate to choose an illegal way just to earn some extra money. Even though we can’t take it with us. Then where’s the dilemma? Why can’t we be satisfied with what we get with our honesty!

Well, the answer of this question is not easy to find. Rather, we always have found easier ways to create opportunities. Opportunities of making some extra wages in an inappropriate way.

But the problem arises if these rogue ways are taken by Government employees. When the mass people get to know about these scams, they start losing faith on Government. It disturbs the sanity of the society and makes much harder for the Government to rule properly.

The problem gets bigger when no one takes the responsibility, rather starts defending that vicious matter. And then the blame game starts. Government blames the local authorities, on the contrary, locals blame the higher authority. But the outcome remains zero.

The Green City Housing Area is being constructed for the employees of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP). RNPP is one of the biggest projects of Bangladesh Government in order to reduce the rapidly increasing power demand of the country. We all must aware about this long-term plan that may change the future of the country. But have heard about the “Balish Scam”?

The “Rooppur Balish Scam” is a similar sort incident that we were talking above. On one side, when the term “Rooppur” started to become the name of a hope of the country, the scam happened. And now the term “Rooppur” is turning out to be the other name of corruption.

All these started when a news was leaked and got viral in the social media. It was a news about the staggering amount of money that was spent to buy the furnishings of Green City Housing. The expenditure that was shown as the wages of the labors who picked up those furnishings into the flats was even more unrealistic. As a result, that news spread throughout the country like a storm.

But who is responsible for this? We know the answer, No one! Yes, no one is up for taking the liabilities and there begins the blame game. While questioned, the chief engineer of Public Works Department Mr. Shahadat Hossain answered, “These purchases were made before I took the charge”. Hence, he denied making any comment on the query. On the other hand, while the Housing and Public Works Secretary Mr. Shahid Ullah Khandaker was questioned about this scam, he came out with no certain conclusion. “We formed a committee to investigate the whole procedure. I don’t know yet what they have found. The matter will be viewed”.

It shows that neither local nor central authority has any answer to this. Maybe they don’t find it to be a big issue. But when we see the bigger picture, it has a huge negative impact. This RNPP project is on top of Government’s priority list. Still they can spend BDT 5,957 to buy a single pillow, which is more than the average monthly income of a day laborer. Again, the buying price of each washing machine is BDT 1,36,112 which is even more than the monthly honorarium of the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh! Then what’s happening in other projects which are not in the Government’s priority list. Or any involvement from Government officials helped them in this intrigue. We don’t know yet.

But the answer to these questions is very necessary for the common people. It is also very important to keep the Government’s image clear and trustworthy. But, if they continue to play the blame game, the annoyance will sustain in people’s mind and would work as a trigger in any future movement.

There is another proverb as the one was used in the beginning, “It takes money to make money”. If this holds true in this case, then what are we going to take with us? Someone needs to know the answer, right?

Image: A children sleeps pillowing the footpath where the drain is by the main road. He is tired, its half past ten in the night and too late for someone like him. I could never capture when he isn’t sleeping, this little guy is just too animated. Haven’t seen him for a long time now….don’t know where he disappeared. Anyway, sleep my little friend, SWEET DREAMS with the headlamps of course…. Outer Stadium, Chittagong: by Nayeem Kalam.

One Response to “In talking to ‘Balish Scam’ in Bangladesh”

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    ‘Rooppur’ and ‘corruption’ – a historical bond is going to be established between the words. Authority regarding the project should try to eradicate the disgrace. Take good care.

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