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EMRD’s costly blunder

  • Published at 07:03 pm October 31st, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:47 am November 1st, 2017
EMRD’s costly blunder
Sometimes being a leader means not only making decisions to move forward, but also preventing bad decisions from going through. And that is essentially what the prime minister did by cancelling the preposterously expensive purchase of a survey research vessel that experts warned was not going to be beneficial for Bangladesh. Although about Tk40 crore has already been lost to the project, the total cost would have been a staggering Tk1,200cr, with practically zero expected return as Petrobangla does not even have the capacity to interpret the results of the survey. EMRD Secretary Nasimuddin Chowdhury apparently went against the recommendations of the evaluation committee, which presumably concluded that the purchase would not be feasible. We are glad that the prime minister’s office took notice of the situation, but the prime minister cannot be expected to evaluate every single project individually -- she should be able to rely on state ministries to make the best decision on behalf of the people of Bangladesh, and this certainly was not one of them. When are we going to see bureaucrats and civil servants put the interest of the nation before their own? Needless to say, if this project did go through, it would have been another waste of tax-payer money -- much like the planting of absurdly expensive bonsai trees by the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), while the good citizens of Dhaka still suffer from inadequate road infrastructure. We can only hope that one of these days, bureaucrats have to answer for their unrestrained greed.