HYDERABAD, Oct 6 Millions of devotees of Hazrat Usman Marvandi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar are frustrated because reconstruction work at the shrine has not been completed although 14 months have passed and millions of rupees have been spent.
Renovation was ordered in 1994 by the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto after the dome had caved in.
She, being one of the ardent devotees of Lal Shahbaz, desired to get rebuild it on the pattern of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi`s shrine.
Subsequently, a master plan of the reconstruction in four phases was prepared on the directives of the then premier.
It was planned to construct the main shrine, including a dome with 192 panels covered by thin sheets of gold and the roof to rest on huge girders, along with construction of Dhamal Court, re-fixation of golden gate, devotees shed, Musafirkhana, lavatory block, ablution places, Langarkhana, shopping centre and two mosques, one for Shias and the other for Sunnis.
The federal government because of the personal interest of Ms Benazir Bhutto undertook the task of rebuilding the shrine. Meanwhile, Monitoring Cell of the Prime Minister`s Secretariat awarded Rs198.476 million contract to National Construction and appointed M/s NESPAK as vetting consultant for completion of phase-I of the project in 1994.
However, the scheme was transferred to the Sindh government in 1996 for execution through the then Hyderabad Commissioner and later, the district coordination officer of Dadu was appointed as the project director.
Under Phase-I, construction of main shrine, including dome and roof resting on huge girders were planned with the revised amount of Rs221.476 million.
The main structure was completed in 1999 and internal and external finishing was completed in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
Senate Chairman Muhammedmian Soomro, on complaints of substandard work, assigned the task to Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works to investigate the matter. The committee observed leakage in the main dome and roof, as well as usage of substandard material in Kashi work and installation of gold sheets.
A punch list was prepared mentioning leakage of water from golden dome of the main shrine, fixation of unapproved and already rejected Kashi tiles in the elevation of the main shrine, cracks on C.C. toppings laid over the main shrine and defects in plumbing and electrical works.
The committee directed the executing authorities to remove all complaints mentioned in the list.
The contract of Phase-II of project which included completion of Dhamal Court was also awarded to the National Construction with the starting date as October 2003 and modified PC-I costing Rs64.919 million with stipulated date of completion as January 4, 2005.
Despite the revised date of completion as September 2005, the work of phase-II remains unfinished.—APP