ISLAMABAD: The park directorate of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) cancelled contract of the Lake View Park entry fee and started collecting fee through its own officials on Friday.
Sources said the contractor had already paid 95pc of the contract amount and deposited security as per the agreement. The contract was to expire on May 8, 2020.
However, the MCI officials cancelled the contract and started collecting the entry fee themselves.
“The contract was awarded against over Rs100 million for two years. I had deposited over 95pc of the amount and my Rs10 million security is also lying with the MCI. But all of a sudden my contract was revoked,” contractor Niqab Khan told Dawn.
An investigation into an alleged corruption scam in the park involving Rs16 million detected about seven years ago has still not been finalised.
The ‘fake entry ticket at Lake View Park’ scam surfaced in 2011-12. It was alleged that a contractor in connivance with some CDA officials had illegally collected Rs16.5 million as the entry fee.
During an inquiry in 2015, it was established that millions of rupees had been collected from the citizens in the name of entry tickets but never deposited with the exchequer.
Sources in the MCI said if new contract was not awarded on an emergency basis, there were chances of corruption.
However, Deputy Director Parks Akhtar Rasool, who issued the contract cancellation letter on Aug 19, told Dawn that the contractor was at fault. The cancellation letter said the security amount of the contractor had been forfeited for violating the agreement.
Mr Rasool said as per the agreement the contractor was supposed to deposit a bank guarantee but he did not. He said the last payment was due on Jan 8, 2019, but the contractor did not submit it.
“As of today, around Rs3.5 million are pending towards the contractor whereas the bank guarantee was not provided. Therefore, we cancelled the contract,” he said when told that the MCI could have collected the remaining amount from the contractor before the expiry of the contract.
“The contractor violated the agreement so we cancelled it,” he added.
When asked about the corruption chances, he said the MCI officials were collecting the fee and would deposit it in the government accounts.
“After cancellation of the contract, we were left with no other option but to collect entry tickets on our own,” he said. When contacted, Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz said he had given approval for cancellation of the agreement a few months ago as there was a huge liability on the contractor.
“I have come to know that the contractor had deposited a major portion of the amount. I don’t know why the contract was cancelled now,” he said, adding he would look into the issue on Monday.
Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2019