Monday, September 13

Govt wakes up late to probe corruption

After the present continuing flood havoc, at last the Punjab government on Tuesday seemed to have woken up from its deep slumber when it has constituted a two-member committee to probe into the present performance of the small dams, and fixing of the responsibilities for damage done to the dams and embezzlements made.
The committee of the Irrigation and Power Department – comprising Director Procurement Ch Jamil Ahmed as convenor and Deputy Director PMO P&R Muhammad Latif as member – will submit its report within one month about the dams completed from 2000 to 2010. This committee will assess performance of the small dams in particular reference to the operation and delivery of water, completion of major portions of dams and their operation, and fix the responsibility against any officers and officials for any lapse.
Earlier, the Executive Engineer Development Division Fateh Jang, Attock had written a letter to the Project Director Small Dams Organisation about three small dams in Attock, and pointed out discrepancies, shortcomings and irregularities. However, nothing tangible was done in this regard in one year.
In the letter he mentioned that in Taja Bara Dam, Chimney filter (sand filter) as per design and provision in the estimate has not been laid in the main dam embankment, which is highly hazardous for the stability and safety of structure. Secondly, an amount of Rs 8.2 million has been incurred against back filling of earth material on D/S side of main dam, while the provision does not exist in the TS Estimate.
Thirdly, payment of Rs 6.02m for excavation in rock and Rs 5.694m for excavation in shingle and gravel at unapproved spillway site has been made whereas there is no such type of soil exists at site. Several cracks across the dam embankment have been developed, which may be quite dangerous at later stages for the safety of structure, while substandard earth work and stone pitching have been observed at site.
As per the document, not a single measurement book related with the construction of the dam has been provided. As per statement, the work amounting to Rs 8m has been entered in the measurement books for payments.
About the Sadrial Dam, he said the length of main dam, location of spillways and route of channels have been changed, while deviating from the approved design and alignment resulting in overall increase cost of these components. Secondly, the overall excess payment against quantities for an amount of Rs 9m has been made without prior approval by the competent authority.
Sub standard earth work and stone pitching have been observed at site. Less work has been executed at site as compared to the payments made against work done of irrigation channel. An amount of Rs 9.7m has been paid to the contractor against work done for irrigation channel, but no such quantum of work exists at site.
About the Shahbazpur Dam, the payment of Rs 13.5m has been made against PRCC pipe for irrigation channel, whereas provision of ordinary RCC pipe was made in the T.S estimate. Secondly, payment of Rs 6.72m has been made against price escalation without provision in the PC-I & TS Estimate.


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