As the campaign against corruption in different government departments gains momentum, a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday raided the office of the executive engineer of the Salinity Control and Reclamation Project (Scarp), Shikarpur, and took all the records into custody. The raid was conducted following complaints of massive corruption in the department.
The NAB team from Sukkur raided the office of the Scarp executive engineer and seized all the records pertaining to fuel consumption and maintenance and repairs. They subsequently sealed the office premises.
An official of the irrigation department, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that the Scarp’s only function was to install tube wells at various sites to maintain the underground water table and release saline water into the Left Bank Outfall Drain or the Right Bank Outfall Drain. It has been observed, however, that most of the tube wells installed by the department are lying non-functional after developing faults. At the same time, the department spends large sums of money on paper on the procurement of fuel for vehicles and for the repairs and maintenance of the tube wells.
An official of NAB, Sukkur, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the raid, adding that the team had sealed the office and seized several files containing records and particulars of fuel expenditures and repairs and maintenance. The official said that no arrests had been made yet but the matter was being thoroughly investigated.
An officer of the paramilitary Rangers in Sukkur denied that a raid had been conducted at the office of the Municipal Committee, Ghotki. He said that an officer had visited the office in connection with some official work and the media had termed it a raid. The chief municipal officer, Tariq Bughio, too denied the raid and said that the Rangers officer had visited the office to discuss an issue of encroachments.
Earlier, sources had claimed that a team of Rangers raided the municipal office on Monday and took into custody records of development works, recruitments and a list of employees among other documents.
According to sources, the municipal committee’s office was raided by the Rangers team. On seeing the law enforcers, most of the employees, including the chief municipal officer, fled from the office. The Rangers personnel took some records into custody, which included details of the development works from 2008 to date, the recruitments made during the period and the list of the employees.
The sources claimed that during their postings which were made on political grounds, the taluka municipal officers and chief municipal officers pocketed huge sums of development funds, besides giving a significant share to the political personalities of the district. Apart from this, several properties belonging to the municipal committee were allegedly handed over on the basis of favouritism, said a source, adding that a former TMO had appointed 20 women on various posts, including senior and junior clerks, stenographers and telephone operators, but not a single woman could be seen working in the municipal committee office.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2015.
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