No privacy for jailbirds | Pakistan Today

No privacy for jailbirds

–New toilet facilities at Bahawalpur jail lack doors

–Inmates have been using toilets without privacy for over a year

LAHORE: The toilets of Central Jail, Bahawalpur which were constructed in 2016 and made functional in 2018 lack doors and the inmates have been using them for nearly a year without any privacy, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The scheme titled ‘Construction of Toilet Facilities at Central Jail, Bahawalpur’ was launched in 2016 and the project was completed the same year. However, the finished product was handed over to the jail administration in 2018 after an unexplained lapse. The toilets were made functional in 2018 and the inmates have been using them without any privacy.

This information was kept behind bars and only emerged after the inspection report of the project highlighted the incompetence of the project managers. According to the report, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, a major shortcoming in the planning phase of the scheme was observed during the project site visit.

“No doors were planned to be provided for the toilets in the toilet blocks and the privacy of users was not given any consideration. It is advised that doors should be installed to provide adequate privacy to the users. The toilet blocks would be damaged and their service life would be reduced if proper look after and maintenance is not undertaken. The shortage of water supply and lack of maintenance of pipelines can affect the functionality of the facility,” the report stated.

Communication and Works Department’s sub-engineer Sajid Hanif, who had worked on the project, told Pakistan Today, “Before the approval of any scheme, we have to make its rough cost estimate. We did the same with this project and sent the information to the jail administration. The development branch did not check the estimate in detail and forwarded it to the inspector general of the prison department. Later, the estimate had been approved but nobody raised questions on the fact that the cost of doors was not included in that estimate.”

He said that the administration was informed about this but they did not receive any response from them. “The construction work commenced in May and by June all the funds had been stopped but we still did not halt the work. Later, we prepared another estimate regarding the missing facilities but to this date, no funds have been issued for that,” he concluded.

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