Rs25m lost on road to Faisal Mosque

Zahid Gishkori June 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The aftermath of the tussle between Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Matracon Pakistan-XB, a construction company, may cause the civic authority a Rs25 million loss. Matracon is the company which was contracted to construct the Faisal Avenue flyover by the CDA.

Both parties have been at loggerheads over the stated amount, which was paid above the finalised contract for the project by CDA’s former administration for earlier completion of the flyover.

CDA’s internal audit department has sought a detailed report from its engineering wing on the issuance of supplementary grants. Owner of Matracon Pakistan-XB, Abdul Qadir has declined to pay the amount back and said, “[Former CDA chairman] Kamran Lashari himself took the decision without consulting the project manager Faisal Jamal in 2008.”

Maintaining a strict stance on the issue, Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said that a committee would be set up to probe the entire matter, observe facts and give recommendations against the people responsible for this act.

“Those who are found guilty of inflicting millions of rupees worth of loss to the authority, will be put to task. Strict action will be recommended against Kamran Lashari, Matracon and other CDA officials involved,” he said.

Meanwhile, Member Engineering Abdul Jabbar Milano sided with the ex-chairman’s decision of giving extra amount to the company for earlier completion. “He took the right decision. The CDA could not have afforded further delay in opening the flyover,” he said.

Milano said that it was Matracon, which was delaying the inauguration and the authority was left with no other option.

He was also hopeful that CDA could recover the amount. “We will deduct the payment from other projects which are being conducted by the same company.” Matracon is currently working on the construction of Supreme Court along with a few other projects for CDA.

However, the spokesperson for CDA Ramzan Sajid said final decision regarding deduction of payment from other projects awarded to the company is yet to be taken.

Secretary Petroleum Kamran Lashari was in favour of recovering the amount by deducting payments from other projects. “I took the decision, because it was a huge nuisance for the public and Matracon would have inflicted more losses to the authority by delaying the project,” he said.

“CDA should simply go to the court, if Matracon is not paying back the money,” he said.

Project Director Faisal Jamal presented another reason for enhancing the payment to the company. “We agreed to pay more due to escalation in cost. The price of construction material, fuel and labour charges shot up, therefore payment had to be increased,” he said.

CDA awarded the two-year contract worth Rs815 million for the construction of Faisal Avenue underpass and flyover to Matracon in June 2006.

He added, “You are asking for those Rs25 million. It has been four years since the project was started and the total cost has shot up from Rs815 million to over Rs1 billion due to inflation. And it is still not complete.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2010.


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