ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has been accused of getting substandard work done on the main mosque of Pak Secretariat worth millions of rupees.

The CDA had awarded contract worth Rs438 million for the Secretariat Mosque and after a considerable delay, the work was completed in October last year and the mosque was opened for public.

During an inquiry, it has been established that substandard and defective work was carried out, Dawn has learnt.

Worshippers, mainly employees of Pak Secretariat had submitted a written application some months ago to the Public Account Committee (PAC).

Fact-finding inquiry confirms defective construction carried out

They alleged that defective work was done. In July this year, they submitted written applications to the planning minister and PAC, stating that the mosque had been opened without facilities including CCTV cameras, proper security, the facility to use cold water, slippage, leakage, quality of carpets, poor sound system, smell from drains, single ablution area, heating and cooling system and so on. Sources said that the PAC sought a report from CDA in August this year.

To this, CDA formed a fact-finding inquiry committee headed by Director General (Design) Azam Khan Lodhi, comprising of Deputy Director (Road) Shamsul Haq, which pointed out that sub-standard work was carried out.

Sources in the engineering wing told Dawn that the inquiry committee had pointed out: “Substandard and low quality works have been observed on all exposed areas of the project.

“The complaints of namazis, Pak Secretariat employees and those highlighted in the Planning Commission’s Special Monitoring Report regarding delay in completion, poor quality and substandard work were found genuine. The project was supposed be completed in a time period of 24 months from 28-04-2017 to 27-04-2019, however, the work could not be completed by the contractor …in stipulated period. Two extensions were granted to the contractor in this regard with extension in completion period up to 31-12-2020. But the contractor failed to complete the project in the extended period,” it added.

The report further stated that delay on part of the contractor on completion of the project has also resulted in additional cost on account of price adjustment for the extended period since considerable hike in market prices has been observed as compared to the base rates of March-April 2017, when the work had been awarded.

Some joints on the floor are causing seepage of water on the ground floor, adding that courtyard floor levels are not satisfactory causing reverse flow of water from the courtyard to the corridors.

The inquiry committee also highlighted that the project was designed poorly.

“The contractor may be directed through a final notice for rectification and redoing of defective work and completion of balance and pending work,” it stated, adding that substandard work executed by the contractor resulted in loss to the public exchequer and cost of defective work should be recovered from the contractor. The report also pointed out an oversight on the part of the relevant civic body officials.

According to a senior CDA officer, the civic authority will now go for proper inquiry.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2022

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