Managing director of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC), Bikash Dewan, has won an integrity award in recognition of his dedication and efficiency in carrying out duties.
Power division secretary Sultan Ahmed handed over the award on 26 August after the power division under the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources had selected Bikash for the award.
Earlier, DPDC came into discussion introducing inflated electricity bills and extracting the extra charges from clients amid the coronavirus outbreak. The award came just after a few months of the controversy.
Power division secretary Sultan Ahmed could not be reached over phone and he did not reply to any messages sent over phone and WhatsApp.
DPDC distributes electricity in Dhaka (south) and Narayanganj. The total subscribers of the company is 1.35 million. The company has 36 regional offices in Dhaka and Narayanganj to serve the clients.
As the clients received abnormal electricity bills in February, March and April, it was found that DPDC in a letter had asked its 36 offices to introduce inflated bills for those months. The offices were asked to inflate the bills by 10 to 61 per cent comparing to the bills of the respective months in 2019.
The directives regarding the introduction of the extra bills were issued from the IT section of DPDC.
Energy expert professor M Shamsul Alam said DPDC has directed to introduce 10 to 61 per cent of extra bills than the preceding year and this was done automatically through software. DPDC’s all clients, rich or poor, have been victims of the inflated bills.
He said this is frustrating and embarrassing that the company's head who embezzled millions of taka from the clients by such an illegal act during the coronavirus situation has been handed over the integrity award.
It’s a joke with the people, M Shamsul Alam noted.
Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) executive director Iftekharuzzaman said the tendency to commit crimes of such government agencies will further increase if the corrupt officials are rewarded instead of punishment.