Ever-since Engineer Md. Kausar Ameer Ali became the Managing Director of Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO), customers of the organization have been applauding several steps taken to improve the customer-care alongside combating various forms of irregularities within the organization. Writes Tajul Islam
Under the dynamic and magnanimous leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, country’s power sector has been witnessing tremendous progress, with increase in electricity generation capacity, which already is visible with steady decrease in load-shedding due to power shortage, which became rampant during the tenure of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)’s corruption-plagued rule. It may be mentioned here that, during BNP’s rule, second-in-command of the party, Tarique Rahman and his cohorts were engaged in looting billions of takas through numerous forms of corruption. BNP had miserably failed in increasing electricity generation in the country, which was essential to ensure economic progress of Bangladesh. But, since December 2008, following Awami League’s landslide victory under the praiseworthy leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter Sheikh Hasina, power sector in the country has been witnessing tremendous progress.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina’s government has pronounced its commitment in showing zero tolerance towards corruption in the power sector, while the Prime Minister has been putting special emphasis in improving service qualities of the organizations in the power sector, including Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited. Similarly, Nasrul Hamid, the State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been tirelessly working in ensuring continuous progress in the sectors.
Ever since his appointment as the Managing Director of DESCO in April 2020, Engineer Md. Kausar Ameer Ali, who has previously served as the member of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), has been dedicatedly working in ensuring best-possible service to the customers of DESCO, while he also has been combating all form of corruption and irregularities within the organization with an iron-hand.
Md. Kausar Ameer Ali has more than thirty-five years of experience in Power Sector. He joined at BPBD on 20 October 1984 as Assistant Engineer and retired as the Member of BPDB. His experience covered the area of Electricity Tariff Management, Commercial Operation Management, Pre-Payment Metering Management, OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 9001:2015 procedures, Implementing GIS Mapping in BPDB, working in Underground & SCADA Project, Establishing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Up gradation & Preparing of Electricity Tariffs & Rules, Operation & Maintenance works on 33 KV, 11KV, 0.4 KV Overhead Distribution Lines, Underground Cables and 33/11 KV Sub-Station, Project Management, Risk Management, Bibiana 400 MW Combine Cycle Power Plant Project, Construction of Barapukuria 275 MW Coal Based Thermal Power Plant and Greater Rajshahi Power Distribution Project (Phase-2). He completed his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET) in 1982.
DESCO – a stock exchange listed company – is one of the six electricity distributing companies in the country, which is responsible for supplying electricity in the northern part of the Dhaka city.
A praiseworthy action of the DESCO Managing Director
On March 20, 2021, a customer of DESCO’s Uttara West zone submitted application with the Sales and Distribution (Uttara West) requesting the organization to suspend refilling pre-paid electricity meters on ground and first floor of a residential building at House # 23, Road # 1/A, Sector # 5, Uttara, Dhaka. Subsequently, the refilling of the meters of the mentioned floors were suspended. But on the following day, a notorious woman named Shahana Rashid, who is known as Dhaka godmother for her series of illegal and criminal activities, went to DESCO’s Uttara office, met its Executive Engineer Md. Zelhaj Uddin with the undue request of letting her bring illegal connection from the second floor of the building to ground and first floor. As the officer declined to comply with such illegal request, Shahana and her sons, Sajal Mahmud Ony and Shamol Mahmood Anjan began threatening Engineer Md. Zelhaj Uddin through some local political touts as well as some so-called journalists of underground news portals. It may be mentioned here that, Sanu and her sons are regularly using those so-called journalists in giving cover to their illegal activities. It was reported in the local media that, most of those so-called journalists are engaged into anti-state and anti-social activities.
In the evening of March 21, Shahana and her sons succeeded in convincing Engineer Md. Zelhaj Uddin in giving them verbal permission of getting illegal connection from second floor to ground and first floor of the aforementioned building.
As the matter was traced by a team of investigative journalists of Blitz, the Managing Director of DESCO, along with several top officials were notified. Later the day, as this correspondent contacted Engineer Md. Zelhaj Uddin over phone, he made frantic bids in justifying the illegal power connection in the building and at a point he even said, “If a customer connects any of the floors in a building from any other floor, it is beyond DESCO’s jurisdiction in taking any action”.
As Engineer Md. Zelhaj Uddin was reminded, such actions fall under the existing Electricity Act of 2018, and is a punishable offense, he failed to give any satisfactory reply to it.
But, DESCO’s Managing Director was no ready to listen to such illogical statement of Engineer Md. Zelhaj Uddin. Instead, he instructed the Control Room team to immediately visit the mentioned house and cut off illegal connection. Accordingly, the team arrived at the house and saw, Shahana and her sons have connected the meter of ground and first floor from her own apartment at the second floor. Subsequently, this illegal connection was terminated with verbal warning to Shahana Rashid and her sons of stern actions, if the illegal practice is repeated again.
Our investigative journalists visited the house at 11:45 pm on March 24, 2021 and saw, Shahana and her sons have once again reinstated the illegal connection defying DESCO’s warning.
A neighbor of the house, seeking anonymity said, Shahana and her sons are habitual lawbreakers. They won’t stop illegal practices of playing foul with the electricity connection, unless DESCO takes stern punitive measure, under the existing Electricity Act of 2018.
Dhaka godmother violated Rajuk’s laws
On March 7, 2021, a mobile court of Rajdhani Unnayan Karipakkkha (Rajuk) went to House # 23, Road # 1/A, Sector # 5, to demolish a number of illegal structures. A magistrate found an illegally constructed fourth floor, which was immediately sealed-off and Shahana was asked to demolish the illegal floor within a week. The building also has few more illegal structures, including another floor constructed just above the car-parking space.
Although three weeks have already passed, Shahana Rashid and her sons did not demolish the illegal structures of the building. Instead, they are trying to break the seal of the Rajuk mobile court and star using the floor, which houses a commercial office.
It is also learned that, the ground floor of the house is used as warehouse of highly flammable chemical and explosive gels, which, according to a vernacular daily is being used by members of Jamaat-e-Islami.
Money laundering by Shahana Rashid
Sanu’s youngest son Shamol Mahmood Anjan is a student of Malaysia’s LimkokWing University which is accused of breeding radical Islamic militants. It is suspected that Shamol is possibly connected with Hizbut Tahrir or the Islamic State (ISIS). Ever since his return from Malaysia due to the pandemic, Shamol has been regularly meeting with dubious individuals, who are suspected to be members of militancy groups. Sanu sends university expenses of his son through illegal channels, which is a serious crime under Money Laundering Act of Bangladesh.
A Bangladesh Bank source told this correspondent that the allegation of money laundering against Shahana Rashid is being investigated. It said, if the allegation is proved, Shahana will face stern legal consequences under the existing Money Laundering Act of the country.
Neighbors of Shahana Rashid alleged she has been using her sons in numerous illegal activities including extortion, abduction, dealing in drugs, etc. The neighbors further said, on 25/05/2012 Sanu’s second son Sajal Mahmud Ony, at gunpoint, abducted an Indian national named Sonjib Saha, took him to the 4th floor of their house, tortured and demanded a ransom. Later, police rescued Sonjib and a case was lodged against Ony (Case number: 4774(5)/1). However, because of their Jamaat influence and money, the case was later dropped suspiciously.
According to information, Shahana and her sons are using social media in spreading propaganda in favor of militancy. She and her sons also are committing cybercrime through a number of fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram. Her son, Shamol Mahmood Anjan has been running a number of fake IDs on Instagram and Facebook, which are being used by him in blackmailing various individuals.
Blitz has already drawn attention of the Cybercrime Unit of Bangladesh Police with specific information of cybercrimes committed by Shamol. The matter is under investigation.