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ISLAMABAD: Audit authorities have found irregularities in the Rs9816 million Lowari Tunnel project aiming “to provide all-weather transportation link between Chitral and the rest of the country”.

According to Director General of Audit Maqbool Gondal, the work related to providing monitoring and geo technical instrument services was assigned to a firm, Geo Data, which is owned by the son of the consultant of the Lowari Tunnel project.

Mr Gondal told the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday that there was a conflict of interest as the consultant is supposed to verify bills of the contractor and also grant certification for the completion of certain work.

Also read: Fund for Lowari tunnel project being increased

An audit report pointed out that the contractor was allowed to increase in the price of raw material as well as adjust the foreign currency exchange rate.

According to the auditors, contractors could claim either escalation cost or fluctuation in the rate of foreign currency.

As per the audit report, the National Highway Authority (NHA) did not receive Rs309 million mobilisation advance from the contractor.

On a question of Shafqat Mehmood, a PAC member, that how long would it take to complete the tunnel project, Mr Gondal said the project was scheduled to be completed in 2017.

The 46km two tunnels project was started in September, 2005. The proposed date of completion of the project is October, 2017. Original cost of the contract was Rs5428 million and the revised cost is Rs9816 million.

Secretary Communication Shahid Ashraf Tarrar told the committee that there was a marginal increase in the amount the National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) collected against challans for traffic violations on the Motorways.

On the question of the committee’s members that whether there had been increase in traffic violations on the Motorways, Mr Tarrar said the increase in the amount of fines was not due to increase in traffic violations but because of enhanced capabilities of NHMP to stop traffic violations.

According to him, NHMP has acquired night-vision cameras because of which over-speeding can be checked at night as well.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2016

Comments (6) Closed

Shahid Jan 06, 2016 08:53am

So what are you going to do about it. Has there ever been someone punished in such cases? The answer is no.

Roshan Jan 06, 2016 08:54am

imprison these crooks - teach them a lesson. Chitral doesn't deserve this! Come on Nawaz - Lets see if you are serious on anti corruption.

Zafar Ahmed Jan 06, 2016 09:01am

Auditors find irregularities in Lowari Tunnel project...Nothing surprising ! Gentleman this is normal and day to day routine in Pakistan and it will be the "NEWS" when Auditors find no irregularities and if audit is conducted is transparent manner !

Hameed Jan 06, 2016 09:19am

The combined length of those two tunnels is about 10km not 46km.

Dr Accountant Jan 06, 2016 10:49am

What has "Secretary Communication Shahid Ashraf Tarrar ... National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP)" got to do with "Lowari Tunnel Project".

Good call however by the Director General of Audit. Firm steps should be taken against people who take advantage of their position for personal gains.

Kamal Pasha Jan 06, 2016 12:28pm

Nothing new. Without corruptions, you can not progress.