Gujrat: Payments for dummy projects 2 more arrests made in Rs7m TMA scam
GUJRAT: Gujranwala Anti–Corruption Establishment has arrested two more accused in the Rs7 million Gujrat Tehsil Municipal Administration scam of making payments for fake projects of the Citizen Community Boards (CCBs). Seven of the main accused, including a tehsil officer (planning and coordination), are still at large, it is learnt. ACE Acting Director Ilyas Gill told Dawn the Sham CCB head Dr Kifayat Ullah Siddiqi and a clerk of the TMA’s engineering branch had also been arrested, whereas raids were on for the arrest of other suspects in the case. He said criminal negligence was being suspected on part of some senior TMA officials in making payments for the fake CCB projects and a detailed probe was required in to the matter.
When asked about reports of fake signatures of the TMA administrator and the tehsil municipal officer (TMO) on some bogus bills, he said it would also be inquired into as no one could be given a clean chit at this stage.
It is learnt the New Shahdaula CCB had received some Rs4.95 million in May this year from the TMA in connection with various projects of construction of streets and small drains at two villages — Gurala and Doga.
Rana Habib, who is said to be a TMA contractor and is still at large, had allegedly received the amount and that too without any work being done at the proposed sites. Former TMO Afzal Malhi, who got retired in April this year, had rejected the projects as the condition of the streets and drains at the proposed sites was good and there was no need of new construction work.
However, sine surfacing of the scam, the management of Shahdaula CCB has deposited some Rs3.7 million back in the TMA account, besides pledging to return the remaining Rs1.25 million within the next 48 hours.
The management of Sham CCB got Rs2 million for the construction of streets at Kathala village and proposed Qamar Sialvi road in installments. The first installment of Rs1.5 million was issued back in 2010 whereas the second was issued after two years in 2012.
The TMA officials requesting anonymity said the Sham CCB did not spend a single penny on these projects in spite of withdrawing the amount and even after the irregularity was exposed by the media, it was not willing to return the amount to the TMA.
Sources in the TMA and the ACE said tehsil officer (planning and coordination) Sheraz Ahmed, who was still at large, had been accused of conniving with the CCBs managements for withdrawing hefty amounts through bogus bills for fake projects.