The Power Distribution Board (PDB) at Gaforgaon upazila in the district has been used as illegal business centre for long under the nose of law enforcement agencies.
According to local sources, Delwar Hossain, storekeeper at the office has been selling reading metre to the consumers illegally allegedly with the help of Executive Engineer AZM Anowaruzzaman.
When a power connection is given to anyone, he is bound to buy the metre. If anyone does want not to purchase the metre, his file is not released and he has to face many hassles.
Delwar has engaged some middlemen to recruit customers for buying power connection illegally. These people are forced to buy the metre on condition imposed by the PDB officials.
Locals alleged they have to give Tk1,500 to Delwar for a Capital Digital brand metre which is sold at Tk1,200 in the market.
Over the incident, unwanted situation had created between the consumers and the officials many times, the sources said.
Ashraful Alam, a resident in the municipality, said: “The power office in the upazila has turned into a hub of corruption.”
No power connection is possible without buying the metre provided by the office, he added.
Victims Alauddin, Shafiqul Islam, Abu Taher, Siraj Uddin, Shamsuddin, Abu Hanefa and Md Kayes echoed the words of Ashraful.
Most of the electricity shop owners of the municipality said their business was already near to close as the clients did not buy metres from them.
If anyone bought a metre, later he came to return it, said a shop owner.
They urged the government to take immediate steps against the illegal trade of the PDB men and to save the businessmen.
When contacted, Delwar said: “I am doing the business after taking permission from the higher authorities.”
“They have to be given a big amount of income for the business.,” he also said.
You may report against me, but cannot do anything, he added.
When contacted, Anowaruzzaman yesterday, said he did not want to make any comment over cell phone.
He said he wanted to say everything in meeting. But later, he could not be found in the office on the day.