- Auditor General points out millions of rupees irregularity in the construction process
ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan in its report has detected an irregularity worth millions of rupees in the construction of a flood protection wall at the COMSATS University of Islamabad (CUI), which was formally known as the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT).
A flood passed through the Gumrah Kas Nullah that flooded a number of campus buildings and caused substantial loss to the assets of the university (CIIT) in 2012. As per approved PC-1, the cost estimates for flood protection and land reclamation works for Rs 70.301 million, the report identified.
However, the audit noted that the CIIT project director awarded a work construction of the nullah flood protection works at the Chak Shahzad campus to M/s Consultronix International (Pvt) Ltd at an agreement cost of Rs 139.688 million, it said. as per the approved PC-1, cost estimates for flood protection and land reclamation works for Rs 70,301,480 based on following components: RCC retaining wall was Rs 22,206,400; earth works was Rs 04,485,000 and the land reclamation or filling was Rs 43,610,000.
The report revealed that the PC-1 was approved by ECNEC in November 2007 for Rs 2,862.656 million including FEC of Rs 651.843 million. The implementation date of the project was proposed as January 2008 which has to be completed in December 2014. However, the audit noted that the project director awarded the construction of the flood protection works at the Chak Shahzad Campus to M/s Consultronix International on April 8, 2016, at an agreement cost of Rs 139.688 million.
The date of the commencement of the work was May 27, 2016, to be completed in 15 months – August 26, 2017. The audit observed that the consultant designed flood protection wall on pile foundation of 30″ dia @ 1′ – 6″ interval among the piles with dressed rubble masonry 1:6 mortar to fill the gap between piles, etc (phase-I) amounting to Rs 129.544 million and Rs 10.145 million with RCC wall and other allied items of work in (phase-II) on item rate basis.
The cost was 98.70 % above the component of work approved in PC-I. The audit noted that provision of the richer specification un-necessarily over-burdened the public exchequer. The audit showed that extra expenditure occurred due to non-adherence to the provisions of PC-1 and delay in taking up the scheme. The audit pointed out the matter in October 2017.
The management replied that initially, the main focus of the CIIT was to construct the academic buildings. During 2012, there was a record flood passed through the Gumrah Kas Nullah that flooded a number of campus buildings and caused substantial loss to the university’s assets. In this regard, a detailed study was conducted for the implementation with due diligence.
The reply was not satisfactory because the project management focused on the academic blocks only, although a suitable provision was made in the approved PC-1 to avert the flood situation. The matter was discussed the departmental accounts committee (DAC) meeting held in December 2017, wherein the committee directed the HEC to constitute a fact-finding committee to hold an inquiry in the matter and share the inquiry report with the audit.
The AG report recommended early compliance with the committee’s directive regarding holding of an inquiry and fixing responsibility. However, it said that compliance with the DACs directive was not made till the finalisation of this report.