May 23, 2017
Daily Times Karachi
LDG Sindh’s slackness delays completion of Rs 10b schemes
* Commission mafia increases cost of project by taking 15 percent out of 20 percent advance payments
By Aslam Shah
KARACHI: Sindh government has failed in completing Rs 10 billion mega development schemes of Karachi in stipulated period during outgoing fiscal year 2016-17, officials of Local Government Department (LGD) Sindh informed.
Out of total 21 development projects, LGD had slashed three projects namely Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Flyover at Shaheen Complex with estimated cost of Rs 300 million, underpass at Regent Plaza, Shahrah-e-Faisal worth Rs 525 million and underpass at Star Gate, Karachi Airport with approved estimated cost of Rs 500 million, officials said.
LGD even failed to start work on underpass at Submarine Chowrangi in Clifton, approved estimated cost of Rs 699.46 million, and Natha Khan Bridge U-turn with an estimated cost of Rs 141 million.
In addition, 14 development projects, at total estimated cost of Rs 6.87 billion, remained under construction and could not be completed by the end of fiscal year 2016-17, according to the LGD officials.
The unfinished or partially completed development projects include construction of storm-water drain from Jinnah Terminal to Chakora Nullah via Natha Khan Bridge under the supervision of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board engineers, requisition of snorkel purchase for Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Manzil Pump Flyover at N-5 on National Highway, widening of both sides roads from Metropole to Star Gate, remodeling of Baloch Colony Flyover and construction of road, re-construction of Drigh Colony Flyover, construction of University Road from Hassan Square to NIPA, University Road from NED University to Safoora Chowk, rehabilitation of Mosamiyat Road, Hub Road remaining portion, rehabilitation of Surjani to Madinatul Hikmat Road, improvement of Karachi Zoo, up-gradation of Pipri Filter Plant Pumping Station, replacement of existing damaged water pipe conduits to 16′ dia pipelines and enhancement of pumping machinery of Union Council-4 Metroville Pumping Station and providing 8 dia water supply line from Hazara Chowk to Al Wajid Town.
The construction cost of Tariq Road which was Rs 516 million for only 2 km was also indicated by City Planner on higher side even the KWSB lines were also taken up in this work.
Besides construction of Khaipur Town Road to link road on National Highway and the portion of road connecting district Malir to Super Highway also remain incompleted.
Niaz Soomro, Project Director Development Projects attributed the delay in completion of these projects to administrative slackness and delayed-release of budgeted finances.
However he admitted that slowdown bidding process has also been remained a hurdle in completion of these development projects in city and elsewhere.
On the condition of anonymity the officials of LGD Sindh revealed that the Department during tendering process takes 15 percent money as commission out of 20 percent advance payments made to contractors. “This act has enhanced the cost of development projects to the tune of Rs 585.6 million”, he further revealed.
Besides the estimated cost of five roads was Rs 3.597 billion but for the sake of commission, LGD gave these contracts were awarded for Rs 3.904 billion. These contracts were given in violation of Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules and regulations, around 48 contractors in a joint latter written to Authority revealed.