RE Hard time is in store for all those contractors who left their development projects incomplete and disappeared, despite receiving advance payments as the Punjab government has sought lists of the 'ghost contractors, sources informed TheNation. The Government has also sought lists of officials who awarded contracts to lethargic and negligent contractors to initiate departmental action against them.
They said that the government had issued directions to such contractors to complete all such ongoing projects before monsoon on priority basis, which were pending from about one year due to lack of funds. Further, unusual delay in completion of development works not only is causing massive nuisance for the Lahorites but may also poses threat to government as well as private property particularly during monsoon, they added. In fact government wanted to launch some new development projects of public interests in the City but the negligent attitude of the contractors and officials who are providing them shelter is the major reason behind the delay, they said. In fact most of these contractors are very influential because they are backed by some leading political figures and high-ranked government officials, who are providing them shelter by approaching the higher government authorities for saving their skins. They further said that most of these contractors were non-technical and inexperienced and neither even had basic knowledge about the development projects nor had any experience in this purely technical field. According to merit policy in awarding contracts, only such contracts are entitled to be awarded contracts who not only have degree in civil engineering with experience of handling development projects or to such companies having complete machinery used in the development projects and capable of handling mega projects, they informed.
They said that in fact governments claims to punish these blue-eyed contractors and officials might prove a wild goose chase or just a tall claim because government itself awarded contracts to such kind of non-technical and inexperienced contractors on the recommendations of MPAs and high-ranked government officers. In prevailing circumstances, government is not in a position to annoy any MPA who in fact are the close partners of such contractors or have share in such contracts.
Meanwhile, Lahore Division Commissioner Nadeem Hussain Asif has issued directions to arrest after registering FIRs against such contractors by the end of June after blacklisting them. He further issued directions of arresting those officers who selected such contractors while awarding contracts.
He also ordered to check material used in the ongoing development projects and register cases against such contractors who are involved in using substandard material.