LDA responds to corruption charges in park plaza


Lahore Development Authority (LDA) clarified charges of corruption in the execution of Liberty Park & Ride Plaza and maintained that the project was executed in line with rules.
According to the LDA spokesman, the selection of contractors, award of work as well as revision of cost estimates, was done in a legitimate and transparent manner.

He said a committee was formulated to assess the report of CMIT, which was headed by the Punjab chief secretary and included secretary finance, secretary law and secretary special education. He said the inquiry was in process and the inquiry under PEEDA was pended till the outcome of the inquiry due to the superiority of the committee headed by the chief secretary.
The spokesman said that the project was originally approved for Rs 499.916 million as a five-storey structure. He said that on local traders’ request, the Punjab CM ordered for increasing the parking capacity of the plaza.

Therefore, the number of floors were increased from five to nine and the scheme was revised to Rs 677.475 million which included three commercial floors and six parking floors with a parking capacity of 308 cars and 150 motorcycles.

The spokesman said that the approval was granted by the LDA which was the ‘competent forum’ for granting approval for LDA funded schemes. LDA clarified that no claim was being investigated for sanctioning of Rs 13 million and then Rs 24 million to purchase technical gear as it had nothing to do with the plaza.

The contractors were selected according to the standard procedure. Firms pre-qualified included Izhar Construction, MAAKSONS (Pvt) Ltd, Habib Rafiq (Pvt) Ltd and Guarantee Engineering (Pvt) Ltd that are leading contractors in this field, he said.

He said that in the revised approval, the cost of two European capsule lifts was Rs.29.9 million, which was changed to Korean brand thus reducing the cost to Rs 15 million. This was contrary to the reported facts of downgrading the brand and increasing the cost.