SUKKUR: Despite the lapse of around two-and-a-half years, 30% of the work of Pakistan Sweet Home, Sukkur, building has yet to be completed, because of which Pakistan Baitul Mal is forced to spend huge amount on the rented building to accommodate orphans.
Ever since the orphanage was established in 2011, it is being run in a rented building. Therefore, the authorities had allotted a plot near the deputy commissioner's office for construction of the orphanage building. The contract for the construction of the building was given to contractor Akram Pathan in May, 2014, at an estimated cost of Rs71 million and the completion time was 18 months. However, the building has yet to be completed.
According to sources, the contractor is close to an influential politician of Sukkur and has been awarded many other contracts of development works. The education works department was ordered to oversee the construction work and one of its engineers is supervising the work. Sources said that soon after construction work on the orphanage building started, the estimate was increased to Rs80 million while the entire amount has been paid to the contractor. The quality of the work is not satisfactory and it is being done at a very slow pace because of which 30% work has yet to be completed, said sources. They added that the district administration has directed the contractor to complete the work within one-and-a-half months but it seems impossible keeping in view the pace of work.
Education works department sub-divisional officer Abdul Rasheed Shaikh, who is supervising the construction work, told The Express Tribune that the work has been delayed inordinately but they cannot do anything about it. Referring to the quality of the construction work, Shaikh said he believes that the work is being done properly.
On the other hand, Sukkur Commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch claimed that he had visited the construction site a few days back and instructed the engineer and contractor to complete the work within one-and-a-half months. Baloch added that he made it clear to the engineer that no compromise will be made on the quality of work. Talking about the rented building where the orphanage is currently set up, the commissioner said that it is overcrowded and has directed the relevant authorities to rent one more building and shift 50% of the children there.
Meanwhile, a source in the district administration revealed that Sukkur Deputy Commissioner Dr Waheed Asghar had expressed anger over the slow pace and quality of work during his visit to the construction site. The deputy commissioner was not available to comment of the construction work.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2016.
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