Only two weeks after the discovery of large quantities of coal going missing from the Barapukuria coal mine in Dinajpur, as much as 3.60 lakh tonnes of granite, worth Tk 55.23 crore, have now been reported missing from the stock of Maddhapara Granite Mining Company Limited (MGMCL), a state-owned concern under Petrobangla.
Last week, the board of directors of MGMCL formed an inquiry committee after obtaining the information from the management to investigate the issue.
Petrobangla Chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah acknowledged the information and told that they were looking into the matter.
MGMCL Managing Director SM Nurul Aurangajeb could not be reached over phone for his comment in this regard. Aurangajeb is also an accused in the case filed over the disappearance of 1.46 lakh metric tonnes of coal, worth about Tk 227 crore, from Barapukuria coal mine.
Sources said the MGMCL management informed the Board that they could not find 3.60 lakh tonnes of granite. It also said that this missing amount could be a combination of some kind of calculation mistake and system loss.
In a report perpetrated by MGMCL general manager (marketing) Abu Talab Faraji, the company produced 1,535, 233 tonnes from 2006 to FY2012–2013. But after system loss, the amount would come down to 1,380,562 tonnes. After that, the system loss amounted to 26,087 tonnes from FY2013–2014 to FY2015–2016.
In FY2016–2017, 1,600,496 tonnes lied buried in earth. From 2006 to 2017, the buried amount and system loss amounted to 359,816 tonnes.
The country’s only granite mine was developed in 2006 and started commercial operation in 2007. But it has never been a profitable company. Currently, it has been incurring a loss of Tk. 472 crore.
The incident of around 1.45 lakh tonnes of coal going missing at Barapukuria came to light on July 16 and Petrobangla formed a probe body over the incident on July 19. The Anti-Corruption Commission is also conducting a probe into the disappearance of coal from the mine.
The ACC has also barred 21 officials, including the 19 accused, and former two BCMCL managing directors — Quamruzzaman and Aminuzzaman — from leaving the country over the matter.
Following a directive from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a high powered government committee was formed on July 28. It is headed by Khalilur Rahman, director general (admin) of the Prime
Minister’s Office. The other members are Md Kamruzzaman, director (mine operation) of Petrobangla, and Nazmul Haque, joint secretary of energy division under the energy, power and mineral resources ministry.
Due to the shortage of coal, the 525 megawatt coal-fired power plant at Barapukuria was shut down which triggered a huge power cut in the country’s northern region.