LAHORE: A fourth senior officer became a casualty of the Allama Iqbal Road construction delay when Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif issued orders to suspend WASA Managing Director Javed Iqbal visiting the site on Sunday morning.
Work on the 2.93 km road started in June 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs550 million, later revised to Rs593 million. WASA was given three months to lay a new 48-inch diameter drain and construct a Rs143 million disposal station.
WASA was unable to complete the work on time and an inquiry was ordered against four officers. Three were terminated and one given a reduced term in service.
Naveed Pervaiz, the Operation and Management deputy managing director, told The Express Tribune that the disposal station was still not operational when the CM visited it on Sunday. “It is going to delay the inauguration of the road which the CM had set for June 25,” he said. “That was why the CM suspended the WASA MD.”
He said that the delay was caused by a land dispute regarding the disposal station site with Pakistan Railways that continued from November 2011 to April 2012 when a new site near the Bird Market was acquired for Rs3.8 million.
The drain, due to be built from Mohammad Nagar to Mayo Gardens, was then extended to the site.
He said that the disposal station construction, scheduled to take three months, was completed on time but it would take a few more days to make it operational.
Waqar Ahmad Goraya, district officer for roads 3, said that the CM had set a new deadline of July 15 which they expected to meet. He said that they could not be blamed for the delay since road construction could only start after WASA completed its job.
WASA officials said that another reason for the chief minister’s unhappiness was that he had ordered that 38 tubewells be installed in the city, but only 15 had been installed. They said that there were also allegations of corruption in the installation of a tubewell at Karim Park.
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ