LAHORE: Several office-bearers of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) employees union stormed into the offices of senior officials of the agency’s head office in Gulberg on Monday to allegedly force the management to withdraw the show-cause notices issued to them on corruption charges.

The office-bearers first damaged the official and private vehicles parked in the head office’s compound and then barged into the offices of Wasa’s deputy managing directors, managing director and the vice chairman. They allegedly ransacked the furniture, terrorised the officials and took some of them, including the vice chairman, hostage for some time. They also threatened the officials with dire consequences in cause of non-withdrawal of notices.

“Wasa has launched a campaign against the officials involved in providing illegal domestic, commercial and industrial water connections, showing industrial as domestic connections in the record and minting huge money. So we finally identified 34 officials, including nine of them involved in worst corruption since long. We also issued warning notices to 25 officials. We also initiated action against nine others under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (PEEDA) Act by issuing them final show cause notices,” a senior Wasa official told Dawn.

He said since the objective of the campaign was to increase revenue of the agency, the suspected officials, instead of rendering cooperation, started gathering several employees under the banner of the union in a bid to mount pressure on the admin for withdrawal of the notices.

“The action was taken against the officials after the allegations against them proved,” he added.

Meanwhile, the police, on the application of Wasa, registered a case against the suspected officials, including Shabbir alias Bhola, Saeed Khan, Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Kashif Sheikh and Aslam Bhatti.

“All the suspects fled the scene after committing crime,” the officials added. The LDA vice chairman, director general and other senior officials have condemned the officials’ act.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019