LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed an interim corruption reference in an accountability court of Lahore against officers and officials of the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) for an alleged embezzlement of over Rs345 million.
The interim reference No 93/2018 has been filed against 20 people who allegedly awarded an illegal contract to the KSB Pumps for installation of 116x water filtration plants at ‘exorbitant rates’ and by means of corruption and corrupt practices.
According to the reference, this award of contract resulted in causing a collective loss amounting to Rs345.282 million to the national kitty. It alleges that the accused persons prepared engineering cost estimates at much higher rates.
It also claims that ‘weather shield’ applications on these plants were also approved at exorbitant rates. NAB initiated an ‘Inquiry’ against management, officers and officials of the PSPC and others. This inquiry was subsequently converted into an Investigation on August 20, 2018.
During the course of Investigations, it was revealed that a contract was awarded to the KSB Pumps for installation of 82 water filtration plants at exorbitant rates and without proper approval of engineering estimates/technical sanction.
The illegal addendum of 36 additional filtration plants was also approved wherein the scope of the project was already changed. The civil, electrical and solar works were also executed at exorbitant rates during installation of these water filtration Plants in Bahawalpur Region.
The Investigations against the accused persons further disclosed that the ‘weather shield’ applied to the external walls of filtration plants in Bahawalpur was also acquired at exorbitant rates. Eight solar and grid based filtration plants installed in Tehsil Dunyapur were not included in the contract even in the list of four priority tehsils.
Taking cognizance of the allegations of corruption and corrupt practices, NAB Lahore first arrested four people – Chief Technical Officer Dr Zaheer-ud-Din, Chief Procurement Officer Nasir Qadir Badhal, Consultant Engineer M Saleem Akhtar and Managing Director KSB Pumps Masud Akhter on April 17.
These detentions were followed by arrest of Deputy Secretary Housing Khalid Nadeem Bukhari on May 2. Investigations with the above mentioned accused disclosed involvement of other co-accused Raja Qamarul Islam and former CEO Wasim Ajmal who were also got arrested on June 25.
Later, NAB arrested five more accused persons during the last week of November. These included former Deputy Secretary Zahoor Ahmed Dogar, ex-chief resident engineer Adnan Aftab Khan, Resident Engineer Masoud-ul-Hassan, Resident Engineer Moeen-ud-Din, Resident Engineer Muhammad Younas.
Installation of 8x water filtration plants was also found unauthorised and illegal which was not included in the contract and list of 4x priority tehsils, the reference adds.
Meanwhile, NAB also filed a reference of Rs1.28 billion in the Accountability Court of Islamabad against Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Health Services (GHS) Dr Shoukat Ali Bangash.
The accused had dishonestly and fraudulently induced general public, including overseas Pakistanis, of safe and lucrative investment in his company.