A copy data acquired by this scribe from Wasa, states that the authorities concerned including the board of directors of Water and Sanitation Agency approved the proposed rates of Rs 8054.03 per square foot for the purchase of the ‘High Density Polyethylene pipes sized 24 inches including excavation, joint welding and other costs. The pipe was purchased from a Kotri based private pipe manufacturing company (Hi-Tech), in Sindh.
The summery approved by the board of directors revealed that the base cost of the pipes according to company price list is Rs 7196.69 per square foot besides the cost of Rs 396.69 sub total for laying and joining pipes and Rs 413.32 as composite rate for laying of HDPE pipes. Whereas, the rate provided by the said pipe manufacturing company for HDPE pipes of 24 inches, to this scribe were Rs 4015 excluding transportation cost and Rs 4251 including transportation. The concerned person Manager Sales and Marketing Umer Salam offered that a bargain on the rates was also possible.
A contractor of a local private firm said on the condition of anonymity that he recently purchased such HDPE pipe at the rate of Rs 3400 per square foot from the above said company which less than half the rate, at which Wasa purchased such pipes.
Moreover, some Wasa officials on condition of anonymity informed this reporter that the board of directors had approved such rate with the consent of Deputy Managing Director (Operation) Naveed Pervaiz who earlier had ordered to start work of laying pipeline at Link Model Town Road without inviting tenders which is a sheer violation of rules and regulations. But the tender notice was published by Wasa authorities when the construction work had nearly been accomplished.
The officials further alleged that DMD Naveed Pervaiz was referring most contracts to local construction firms Pecon and MS Company. They further alleged that Naveed Pervaiz was a sleeping partner of both construction companies and that was directing major projects to them.
The contract for Link Model Town Road pipeline laying project has also been awarded to Pecon at the cost of Rs 300 per square foot on about Rs 8350 per square foot including labour and other costs.
When contacted, DMD Naveed Pervaiz said that the rates approved by Wasa for the purchase of HDPE pipes are reasonable and justified and contradicted any embezzlement in the purchase.
He said that Wasa started work after inviting tenders according to relevant clauses of laws but he was reluctant to tell the exact date of inviting tenders and disclose the reasons that caused delay in publishing the advertisements.
On a query, as to why the work was initiated without fulfilling the legal requirements in an open competition and how Pecon had started working a months before the tenders were invited, he reluctantly said that tenders were invited before initiating work and disconnected his phone immediately.