LDA cancels tenders worth Rs 100m after corruption scams surface

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LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has cancelled the tenders of various development projects worth Rs 100 million awarded to private firms after reports of massive corruption and receiving kickbacks in the pre-qualification process and other procedural requirements laid down in the LDA Act surfaced, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The decision was taken after the CM Secretariat took notice of the violations in the tendering criterion.
CM Secretariat officials told Pakistan Today that Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif telephoned LDA Director General (DG) Umer Rasool on Friday and expressed anger over the irregularities in the process and ordered the cancellation of the tenders. He also directed the LDA DG to re-issue the tenders, which would meet all the rules and regulations and warned him not to repeat any such mistakes in the future.
According to an initial inquiry conducted on Thursday, the tenders were opened on November 8 and awarded to some handpicked contractors of LDA officials on November 10 by taking illegal gratification.
The inquiry found out that the contracts were awarded on four percent extra charges of the total cost of the development projects that had to be started in Johar Town, Faisal Town and Sabzazar Housing Scheme.
In order to influence the tendering procedure, Area Development Scheme (ADS-I) Director Malik Mushtaq was replaced with Ijaz Kausar, the inquiry report found out.
A LDA official said that taking notice of the situation, the LDA DG ordered all staff of the engineering branch to stay in their offices after working hours.
The cancellation letters of the tenders were typed in a hurry and displayed on the second floor of the LDA Branch Office, Johar Town while the concerned contractors were informed afterwards, he added.
The official said that on October 28, the LDA had issued two tenders of two development projects by adopting a “selective procedure” against the rules and regulations and the tenders had not been cancelled yet. Engineering Branch Deputy Director Rashid Naeem said that all the tenders had been cancelled and the details in this regard would be disclosed on Monday, November 15.
A LDA Engineering Branch official said that another irregularity was reported when the department had constructed a one-window cell at the Johar Town office at the cost of Rs 25.5 million without inviting tenders and seeking the pre-qualification process.
He said that the issue had been hushed up now. LDA ADS-I Director Ijaz Kausar said that one window was constructed without issuing tenders but all other procedures had been regularised by completing the tendering procedure afterwards.