MULTAN: A four-member committee constituted by the Multan Development Authority (MDA) to look into the issue of cracks in the elevated Metro Bus track comprises of officials against whom the National Accountability Bureau has filed a reference with the accountability court for allegedly causing a loss worth millions to the national exchequer.

This is the third committee after cracks appeared and portion of concrete fell on Bosan Road on March 30.

The first committee was constituted by Deputy Commissioner Muddasar Riaz Malik. Another committee was constituted by the commissioner with the DC its convener and MDA director technical, executive engineer roads and the manager operations of the Punjab Mass Transit Authority its members.

The committee in its report on April 15 recommended lodging a first information report (FIR) against the contractor and consultant and action under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (PEEDA) Act 2006 against the officers of the MDA engineering wing.

Officials facing NAB reference are part of the inspection team

The committee recommended that a certificate be obtained from the MDA engineering wing after checking all the pillars as well as expansion joints to ensure that they were working as per standards and were structurally stable.

The entire engineering wing faces NAB charges of causing a loss to the exchequer.

On the recommendation of the committee headed by DC Malik, the new committee was constituted which was now doing the job assigned to it.

The NAB had accused the officers concerned of misusing their authority and committing acts contrary to the instructions of the Planning and Development Board.

Commissioner Imran Sikandar was not available for comments. MDA DG Tanvir Iqbal said that assignment to inspect the metro route had been given to the MDA and inspection could only be done with available staff. “The inspection team will submit affidavit (that the inspection has been done on merit).”

He said that the responsibility of the committee was only to inspect the route so that no such incident took place in future.

He said that the inspection team would be responsible for its report in future.

MDA Director Engineering Nazir Chughtai said that all the 500 points from pillar to pillar would be inspected carefully and after conducting the technical inspection of entire design of the project, report would be submitted to the commissioner.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019