Two inquiries started into Rawalpindi Ring Road project scam

Published May 27, 2021
Two inquiries have been launched into the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) project. —  File
Two inquiries have been launched into the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) project. — File

RAWALPINDI: Two inquiries have been launched into the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) project with the Punjab Audit Directorate sending a three-member team to check record to find irregularities while the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has sought land acquisition details within two days.

The three-member team arrived in Rawalpindi on May 24 (Monday) on the directives of the Punjab Audit Directorate director general.

The team collected the entire record from the Commissioner’s Office, land revenue offices of Rawalpindi and Attock as well as the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA).

A senior official of the district administration told Dawn that record included details of appointment and sanction of posts of the Project Management Unit (PMU) staff, a feasibility study of the project, PC-II/estimates, tendering process for award of consultancy works, consultant’s agreements and the payment vouchers, survey by the revenue department of land for the project, notification under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, approval of rates of land by the District Price Assessment Committee, approvals from the Board of Revenue (BoR) Punjab and the award announced by the land acquisition collector (LAC) of the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) and payments made by the LAC for land acquisition with vouchers and all supporting documents.

He said the record was seized in the Project Management Unit of the RRR project in the Commissioner’s Office soon after the Ring Road scam surfaced on April 27 when Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the issue and directed an inquiry.

Punjab Audit Directorate team to check record; ACE seeks land acquisition details

On the other hand, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment asked the RDA to provide all information, minutes of the meetings and the land acquisition record related to Rawalpindi Ring Road project.

According to a letter to the RDA by the director general of the Anti-Corruption Establishment made available with Dawn, the matter may be treated as ‘top priority’ and requisite information provided to this office within a day or two through an officer not below the rank of BS-17 and well conversant with the facts of the case.

Furthermore, the letter said a senior RDA officer may be appointed as focal person for further coordination and provision of record.

It said a joint team of the Anti-Corruption Establishment was investigating allegations of embezzlement, corruption and misuse of authority in the RRR project.

The issue of land acquisition for Ring Road and role of Land Acquisition Collector Waseem Ali Tabish will also be determined in the inquiry.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2021

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