Procedural hurdles: Street project delayed for 3 months ‘will resume today’

Published: May 18, 2012

" As long as they finish work in the scheduled time, I don’t mind the contractors dividing work among themselves," DO (highways). PHOTO: FILE


Work on construction of four link roads in Baghwala area will resume on Friday (today) and will be completed in a month, district officer (Highways) Muhammad Bakhsh said on Thursday.

He was visiting the neighbourhood following complains about excessive delay in completion of work.

In several complaints sent to the department, residents of the area stated that the contractor had left the work incomplete and disappeared three months ago. They said the streets paved with bricks were to be re-built with asphalt concrete. The contractor had removed the bricks but left the remaining work incomplete three months ago, they added.

The DO said he had already sent three show cause notices to the contractor, Rana Aftab, on delay in completion of work. He said the project would be taken away from Aftab and his licence cancelled if he failed to resume work this time. The DO, however, refused to comment on the contractor’s response to the notices.

Talking to The Express Tribune, contractor Rana Aftab, who was accompanying the DO Bakhsh on Thursday, said he had been awarded several construction projects in the area. He said he had wanted to finalise particulars of his other projects before starting construction so that he could finish all of these projects in one go. “I didn’t want to move the machinery needed for these works again and again,” he said.

However, Aftab assured the DO of resuming and finishing work quickly.

The tenders for the project were issued six months ago for Rs4.3 million in the name of Muhammad Sajjad, a resident of Rahim Yar Khan. Sajjad had sublet the project to one Liaqat, a resident of Kasur, who delegated the task to Aftab.

Aftab and Liaqat told The Tribune subletting of projects to other contractors was a routine matter.

They said they bid for several public works projects at a time and later distribute similar projects among one another. “Work becomes more convenient and efficient in this manner,” they said.

DO (Highways) said he did not see any irregularity in subletting of projects by the original contractor. “As long as they finish work in the scheduled time, I don’t mind the contractors dividing work among themselves,” he said.

Talking to The Tribune, several residents of the area who had complained about the issue to the district administration said their movement had been restricted for three months because of the debris lying in front of their homes. Chaudhry Ashfaq Azhar Ghumman , Chaudhry Abdul Khaliq Jhattol and Chaudhry Rasheed Lodra said they had sent several applications in this regard to the administration and the MPA, Mahmooda Sarwar Cheema, on whose request the project was started by the administration.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2012.

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