Delays in road construction causing troubles for people of Chitral town

People forced to travel across an incomplete road in Chitral

Gul Hammad Farooqi

CHITRAL: 380 million worth project of Khan Abdul Wali Khan by-pass road had been inaugurated by KPK Chief Minister, Amir Haider Khan Hoti, on November 18, 2010. Work on the proejct started in December 2010. So far, excavation work of rock cutting has been completed up to 80% but due to blockade of main road for vehicular and pedestrian traffic the slow work pace is being a cause of nuisance for people of Chitral.

Almost 700 PTCL telephone lines were severed during the rock cutting, causing a lot of trouble for the subscribers. Reportedly, the PTCL lines were cut due to negligence of  C & W Department (Communication and Works).

When Assistant Business Manager of PTCL Bakht Baidar was contacted he confirmed that due to negligence and carelessness of C & W department the PTCL main cable has been damaged, disconnecting 700 lines. He, however, said that a case had not been registered against the relevant XEN because he has promised payment of 2 million rupees to PTCL for replacing the damaged cable.

A pile of  rock debris is also lying on the main road and causing problems for pedestrians and  vehicles.

In this connection concern contractor, Arshad Shaheen of Shaheen Contractors, was contacted regarding none removal of the rock piles who said that the authorities at C&W department are delaying payment of 11 million rupees to him, out of the 15 million due. He accused XEN Pir Muhammad of creating hurdles for the payment.

He said that concerned SDO had visited the site of retaining wall and expressed his satisfaction but alleged that XEN did not allow Shaheen Contractors to continue work and that is why the work is slow causing for delay of the project.

He also told the media men that according to maps of C&W, height of the rock (road side) have been shown 20 feet while actual height is 120 feet and they have shown its width 9 feet but actual width on the spot is 35 feet and C&W paid a huge amount to consultant for a wrong drawing. He said that the concern department was using different tactics in hand over of work order.

A mechanic Said Rehman told that he is a contractor of labors but  waiting for the last 25 days and XEN Pir Muhammad is not giving them drawings for the retaining wall on river side to star work.

It was also revealed that one employee of C&W had also taken rupees 240, 000 from the concern contractor as bribe/commission through an open cheque  which was also confirmed by Manager Allied Bank Chitral Irshal Ali that a sum of Rs. 240000 has been cashed /drawn from account No 653-0 of Arshad Shaheen on 5th of April 2011. The cheque  was, reportedly, issued on 6.11.2010 drawn by the brother of head clerk of C & W. The bank also has a CNIC copy of the person who cashed the cheque.

On other side Arshad Shaheen alleged that he had informed Bank Manger to block his account and not pay anything to any person but even than he paid huge amount from my account.

This scribe also contacted Executive Engineer C&W, Pir Muhammad, telling him that that whether the amount received by his employee is legal or illegal and why the contractor was not bound to remove debris from main road. The XEN refused to respond and misbehaved.

According to some source the CEN is enjoying supporting of the ruling ANP and his staff are very boldly taking commission and bribes from contractors.

Social and political circle of Chitral have demanded from Chief Minister KP for releasing fund for this long awaited project of By pass road as well as they demanded action against the concern government employee on charges of corruption, creating hurdles in a development project and using delay tactics in a public interest work.

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