Another embarrassment: CDA loses millions in parking contract scam

The contract for the Sabzi Mandi was awarded for Rs35.5m but CDA got only Rs3.5m.


Obaid Abbasi February 16, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


A fraud in the car parking contract of Sabzi Mandi granted in March 2011 has cost the Capital Development Authority (CDA) over Rs30 million in losses and led to the contract being nullified.


The CDA Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) awarded the parking contract for the Sabzi Mandi in I-10 through open bidding for Rs35.5 million.

An official source in the DMA told The Express Tribune the contract was awarded to Mumtaz Ali Khan, who used the name of a private firm with which he had no affiliation to acquire it. The sources added that DMA officials were involved in the scandal.

The official said that according to the contract, Khan had to pay the contract amount within a year, aside from a security deposit of Rs5 million. However, eleven months in, the bidder has only paid Rs3.5 million, costing the financially crippled civic agency millions in losses at a time it is unable to pay many employees their salaries.

“Instead of paying the complete amount through a pay order, Khan deposited two fake cheques worth Rs17.5 million,” the source said, adding that “even an FIR has not been lodged against him.’’

A CDA official said that during the internal audit of the relevant department, the auditor also pointed out the scam, but the high ups ignored the issue.

CDA Spokesperson Ramzan Sajid conceded that the contract was wrongly awarded and said that an “FIR has been lodged with the Aabpara police against the fake bidder and the re-auctioning process would start on February 17.”

However, Aabpara Police Station House Officer Rana Allah Buksh denied the existence of the FIR, saying that not even an application to register it has been received at the station.

Responding to a question on the CDA’s reluctance to take action against officials involved in the debacle, Sajid said that a committee had been established and a departmental enquiry would be launched after its findings had been submitted. He, however, said he did not know the names of the committee members or its head.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2012.

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