RAWALPINDI: The district building department has refused to take over newly-constructed blocks of schools for boys and girls after finding substandard construction work.
The matter has now landed in the Anti-Corruption Establishment as the building department refused to pay the remaining amount to the contractors.
The Anti-Corruption Department will launch an inquiry into the matter and will send a report to the provincial government soon.
A senior official of the district administration told Dawn that in the last three years the building department had awarded contracts for the construction of additional rooms and blocks in Government Girls High School Ratta Amral worth Rs7.5 million, Government Girls High School Milad Nagar, Rs15 million; Government Girls High School Khayaban-i-Sir Syed sectors 1 and 2, Rs15 million; Government College for Women Mohanpura, Rs15 million; Government Boys High School Amarpura, Rs5 million; Rs2.5 million in Government Girls High School Gulzar-i-Quaid and Christian Boys High School in Raja Bazaar at a cost of Rs10 million.
He said the building department superintendent inspected the construction work and found irregularities and poor work in it. He informed the provincial government through a letter that the construction was delayed and substandard.
He said seepage, cracks and other poor quality work were visible in the buildings. The contracts were awarded in 2017 and work was started in 2018.
The official said MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique had also lodged complaints with the district administration about the poor work.
He said the building department refused to take over the buildings and asked the contractors to improve the quality of work. He said the payment to the contractors had been stopped.
“Upon this, a tussle started between the building department and the contractors. The contractors alleged that the officials wanted bribe to release their amount,” he said.
When contacted, the building department’s superintending engineer, Riaz Butt, said there were complaints against work done by some contractors but when they were asked to improve the quality, they resorted to different tactics and started making allegations.
He said the contractors would have to ensure quality work otherwise the department would not make any payment.
“The contractors have been asked to complete the work and get their payment,” he said.
He said a third-party verification would solve the issue and provincial government had been requested to play its role in this regard.
“It is difficult to overlook poor quality work and we will not take over the newly-constructed blocks and buildings till damages are removed,” he said.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2021