‘Jangla Bus’ the biggest corruption scandal in Asia: Elahi


Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) senior central leader and Deputy Prime Minister Parvez Elahi alleged the biggest corruption in Asia had been committed in the “Jangla Bus” project (referring to the Bus Rapid Transit System).
He said the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General (DG) openly flouted rules and regulations and will not escape accountability for such rampant violation. Elahi alleged that a huge amount of money was illegally accumulated in procurement of buses, and the ill-planned project had heavily drained the national exchequer.
Elahi also said other officers involved in this corruption were headed by the LDA DG and will have to account for embezzlement worth billions of rupees.
Elahi said unlike the Sharifs wanted the public to believe, the Jangla Bus is not a big achievement, adding that it is a system that has become redundant throughout the world.
He said funds of hospitals and schools of entire Punjab had been dumped into this project, which had caused great inconvenience to people during construction and even after its completion is making life miserable for residents of Lahore.
Elahi said the actual cost of the Jangla Bus is being kept hidden, adding that no rules and procedure was followed and planning and ground realities were completely ignored in a rush to finish the project. He said the Sharif brothers are claiming to have completed the project in Rs 30 billion whereas according to the Planning and Development Department, so far about Rs 75 billion have been spent while millions of rupees are being incurred daily on operations. He further claimed that a large number of affected people had not been paid compensation for their demolished houses and shops.
He said roads, electric poles, water and gas pipes and telephones lines were destroyed during construction and expenses being incurred on re-installation are also not being disclosed, stressing for a high level inquiry into the issue.
Elahi said the current Punjab government had discarded the Metro Train Project envisaged by his government, despite availability of foreign assistance from international financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank. The train project, he claimed, would have been a state of the art project in comparison to the redundant bus project and would not have caused problems being faced currently, primarily because it was to be an underground project.
He said the underground train system was the biggest engineering project after Tarbela Dam which would have enhanced the beauty of Lahore whereas the Jangla Bus has deprived the city of its historical beauty and divided it into two parts forever.