–Award of illegal contracts in NA-8 constituency, corruption in Kamal Area project among cases to be investigated by anti-graft watchdog
PESHAWAR: The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) regional office has approved an inquiry into alleged corruption by officers of various departments of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government.
In a meeting of the regional NAB board under NAB KP Director General Farmanullah Khan, an inquiry was approved against officials of the provincial administration department for their alleged role in corruption worth millions of rupees in the KP House, Islamabad.
According to a NAB statement, an inquiry was also ordered against officials of the Public Works Department and Peshawar Electric Supply Company for their alleged role in doling out illegal contracts for the NA-8 constituency.
Moreover, an inquiry was ordered against the tehsil municipal administration over the award of an illegal contract for establishing a fruit market.
Similarly, the NAB regional board ordered a probe against the tourism department over alleged corruption in the Kamal Area Project as well as against the illegal cutting of trees in Chitral.
On Wednesday, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had ordered NAB to probe the Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor (BRT) Project, which it termed “shady and shaky”.
The high court issued the detailed order almost seven months after it had allowed the authorities to continue to work on the project but submit reports on the project’s progress.
“After hearing the arguments at great length, we feel it’s appropriate to refer the matter to NAB authorities for conducting proper investigation due to the fact that 50 per cent scope of the work has been enhanced,” the court order stated.
The PHC, in its detailed verdict, observed that the BRT project was awarded to a firm that was blacklisted in another province, and that the project stood incomplete as of June 24.
“The delay, the contract awarding process, feasibility and all the issues relating to the Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor (BRT) Project are all shady and shaky,” the order said.
Moreover, the court noted that the project was initially projected to cost Rs49.3bn but the figures eventually soared to Rs67.9 billion.
“We have been informed that from different necessary project schemes, the amount has been allocated for this project without considering the fact that other projects were also necessary and important for public purpose,” the verdict adds.
The court directed the NAB authorities to complete their probe and submit its findings in the next hearing, scheduled to he held on September 4.