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Tepa removes 108 ghost daily wagers

September 23, 2017

LAHORE: The Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (Tepa) administration has removed 108 ghost daily wage employees after it learnt through spot-checking and on-site inquiries that they neither worked with the agency nor even knew about the location of Tepa office.

The administration also planned to recover salaries worth millions from the ghost employees or their agents besides initiating legal action against those who managed to get ghost workers appointed on daily wages.

There were 167 work-charge employees working on various development projects since 2012. Many of them were shown posted as supervisors, computer operators, peon, assistants, clerks on projects such as Metro Bus Service and Orange Line and Canal Road widening.

The scam was unearthed after Tepa’s administration and finance directorate launched a thorough probe on various complaints.

“The officials concerned paid visits to construction sites and offices of various projects, checked from sources and finally found that 108 of the total 167 were ghost workers. Further investigation revealed that agents allegedly backed by local political personalities managed to do this by submitting documents of various people who did not know about their recruitment and salary ranging between Rs15,000 and Rs20,000,” an official source told Dawn on Friday.

“After verifying the data of each employee with identity card, educational credentials and proof of attendance, salary transaction through bank or by hand, we found that agents were used to draw salaries who gave a couple of thousands to those shown as employees in the official record. We then removed all 108 of the 167 from job,” the official added.

He alleged that Tepa administration was being pressurised by political people’s agents to either reinstate the terminated daily wagers or not take further action. He said after removing the ghost workers, Tepa would be able to save Rs1.8 million monthly that were being paid to these employees.

“The administration is also thinking of sending a ghost employees reference to the Anti-Corruption Establishment through the Lahore Development Authority to recover the salaries received by the agents or ghost employees,” the official maintained.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017