JHANG: Repeated directions by the Punjab Highway Department chief engineer and the Faisalabad divisional commissioner issued for the completion of two road projects have proved futile as these remain incomplete even one year after their deadline.

It is learnt that the maximum funds for the projects have been utilised.

Sources said the PHD engineers, for the utilisation of Rs60 million public funds, had approved widening and improvement of one-kilometre portion of a highway from Ayub Chowk to Adhiwal Chowk. During preparation of design of the project, the engineers included the roadside drainage construction work related to the Public Health Engineering Department which enhanced the cost of the project.

The PHD engineers allegedly awarded construction contract without evaluating the required machinery and expertise besides clearance of the project site. As a result, the project remains incomplete and the drainage of the residential areas accumulates at the site causing damage to the road.

The material used in the base and foundation work is also of substandard quality. Being an important city road, the businesses of people are badly affected.

Similarly, repair and construction of Jhang-Toba Road from level crossing to Officer Colony was approved at a cost of Rs16 million last year. During the project design the component related to the Public Health Engineering Department had also been undertaken by the highway department without realising the technicalities and maximum funds have been utilised but the traffic is impeded daily due to drainage of residential areas.

A retired civil engineer says the basic fault is related to drainage of water and there is no problem with the roads and the PHD has started digging these without any justification. Both projects have failed even before completion resulting in loss of funds, he says.

PHD Jhang SDO Mr Azhar claims that there is no fault in the preparation and execution of these projects. He says necessary instructions have been issued to the sub-engineers and contractors to ensure completion of the projects and that quality material is used.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018