Trash collection deal smells foul

Inquiry reveals agreement awarded to ineligible firm fraudulently


Our Correspondent February 22, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

It is a very sad fact that Pakistan is beset with numerous problems in almost every aspect the foremost being healthcare, economy and education to name a few.

However, another glaring problem confronting every major city in the country are the heaps of garbage strewn in streets, parks, near schools and hospitals and in virtually every nook and cranny of the city and the civic bodies’ inability to do anything about it.

It is also known that most of the government agencies work is outsourced to contractors where deals are struck and not much attention is paid to the work assigned.

In this context a case has surfaced in the capital where things are not different from other cities with regard to garbage removal, in which the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has terminated the garbage collection contract, terming it faulty and being awarded in a fraudulent manner.

The board headed by CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed took the decision after receiving an inquiry report which pointed out that the contract had been awarded to an ineligible contractor in a fraudulent manner and on the basis of fake documentation.

However, the board members said the civic agency had finalised temporary arrangements to collect garbage.

"Since the inquiry report pointed out corrupt practices, we decided to discontinue the contract otherwise we can face inquiries in future," said a CDA official.

However, he pointed out the workforce engaged with the contractor would be asked to continue working under the CDA until a new contract was awarded.

CDA board also decided to refer the case to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the alleged fraudulent contract.

The sanitation directorate was part of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and handed over to the CDA in October last year.

However, a month before being assigned to the CDA, MCI then headed by Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz awarded the contract against Rs 650 million per annum to a contractor.

Sources privy to the matter disclosed in the inquiry report that the contractor could not arrange machinery as per the agreement and started the work on the basis of a letter of intent.

Besides, he was awarded a contract on the basis of experience letters which were allegedly fake.

The CDA ensures cleanliness of the city through its own employees and a contractor. The contractor manages Sector G-6, to G-11 and I-8 and I-10 and highways while other parts of the city are handled by the civic authority's own employees.

The contractor is supposed to have 1,290 workers and his own machinery at his disposal as the contract was only for urban areas.

 

 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2021.

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