Muzaffarabad: 3 PWD officials held over corruption charges
MUZAFFARABAD, May 7: Three officials of AJK Public Works Department (PWD) were arrested by the Ehtesab Bureau for their alleged involvement in corruption and misuse of authority while executing an Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project in the region.
The arrested officials included Superintending Engineer (SE) Ziaul Islam, currently serving as project director Tain-Dhalkot Road Rawalakot, Executive Engineer Irfan Hameed, currently serving as project director Mirpur University of Engineering and Technology (MUST) and Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Mushtaq Hussain, currently posted in Education Department, Mirpur.
The main accused Chief Engineer Ilyas Abbasi had gone into hiding but efforts were on to hunt him down, Deputy Director Ehtesab Bureau Haroon Rashid told Dawn.
“These officials are accused of corruption and corrupt practices in violation of the policies and guidelines of the ADB for Multi-Sector Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Project (MSRIP),” he said.
The ADP approved $57 million loan for MSRIP in December 2004 and the agreement was signed in January 2005 but due to the devastating earthquake, the project commenced in 2007 though consultants were taken on board in May 2006.
However, at a tripartite meeting in Islamabad on December 16, 2008, the ADB verbally informed the AJK government that it had decided to cancel the loan and close down all the activities from December 31, 2008, due to the alleged mismanagement in procurement and deviation from its guidelines, overall slow progress, weak implementation capacity etc.
Mr Rashid said that four-member Ehtesab Bureau team led by SP Syed Arif Hussain Shah Kazmi conducted the inquiry into the case in the light of a reference sent by the government.
The arrested officials would be produced in the Ehtesab Court in a day or two to obtain their remand for further probe, he said.