Sunday April 21, 2024

Punjab CM urged to initiate inquiry against MCR

By Khalid Iqbal
April 01, 2024
Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz gestures during an event on March 31, 2024. — Facebook/Maryam Nawaz Sharif
Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz gestures during an event on March 31, 2024. — Facebook/Maryam Nawaz Sharif 

Rawalpindi: The residents of Rawalpindi have appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz to initiate a high-level inquiry against corrupt officers of Metropolitan Corporation Rawalpindi (MCR) Infrastructure and Services (I&S) department for their alleged role in spending Rs2.075 billion on the re-carpeting of roads that were already in fine condition.

Deputy Director (Development) Mazhar Nadeem who rejected the summary of re-carpeting of roads is still strict on his statement and told ‘The News’ that there was no need for re-carpeting of roads because all roads were in fine condition.

On the other hand, the whole bureaucracy from top to bottom has thrown out the vision of Chief Minister Punjab regarding making all public sector departments ‘corruption-free’ in the dustbin and providing full cover to corrupt government officers as per routine from day one.

In this situation when bureaucracy was ruling, who would take the initiative to ensure accountability across all sectors and who would take action against smugglers, hoarders, market manipulators, and ‘corrupt government officials’, people belonging to different walks of life told ‘The News’ here on Sunday.

There is a dire need for strict checks and balances on whether government officers are spending public money in the right way or only minting money through commissions, several people said while talking to ‘The News’. Key post Road Engineers (experts) on condition of anonymity said that Metropolitan Corporation Rawalpindi’s corrupt officers of (Infrastructure and Services) committed a criminal offense because they used ‘Dead Premix’ also called ‘Asphalt’ or bitumen on roads and its temperature was completely low. Professional road engineers used Premix or Asphalt on roads in May, June, and July to keep their temperature high but ‘corrupt officers’ used Premix or Asphalt in January, February, and March, the road engineer officers claimed. They also said that MCR brought Premix or Asphalt privately from Taxila and it was completely useless. The roads will be ruined once the rainy season hits the city, the experts warned.

The officers also claimed that MCR did take Technical Sanction (TS) from the Chief Engineer (Punjab) before starting the work in Rawalpindi. It merits to mention here that ‘The News’ had already published a story that Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Amir Khattak refused to sign the bills of ‘dug up’ roads in the city because the project of re-carpeting of roads had been rejected by the Deputy Director (Development). The Deputy Director (Development) had rejected the summary of re-carpeting of roads because all city roads were in fine condition and did not need any kind of carpeting.

Ironically, the Metropolitan Corporation Rawalpindi (MCR) Infrastructure & Services department misguided former commissioner Rawalpindi Division and got him on board to start digging up roads for re-carpeting.

Most of the roads had been dug up before the general elections but the carpeting of the roads is still pending and it has created dust and pollution in the area. The dug-up roads have become bumpy causing inconvenience to the users. The development work was launched in 42 schemes for Rs2.075 billion. The Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Amir Khattak in his official statement at that time said that he had stopped signing the bills for payment of roads. “I will not sign bills before my satisfaction because we don’t have money for wastage,” he said.

Talking to ‘The News’ residents of the city have expressed anger at the corrupt practices of MCR officers and said that there was no sewerage system in most areas. If MCR had funds in its kitty, it should have worked on the sewerage system. “Why are they wasting a huge amount on road re-carpeting, higher authorities should investigate this issue.