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LDA Chief Engineer Removed For ‘Delayed’ Development

The government on Saturday removed the Lahore Development Authority’s chief engineer from the office on various com-plaints, including delay in completion of various development schemes. The government appointed Mazhar Hussain Asif, awaiting positing, as new LDA urban development (UD) wing chief engineer with immediate effect directing him to expedite development projects. “The outgoing chief engineer (Abdul Razaq) was a mechanical engineer and not a civil engineer — a basic requirement to head the UD wing,” an official source said while talking to Dawn on Saturday. Another issue, the official, who wished not to be named, said was delay in completion of various pro-jects. For the last couple of months, the government directed LDA many times to complete various ongoing schemes, including Ek Moria Pul widening/junction that is yet to be completed despite passing of almost three years. “In recent days, the LDA DG visited the Ek Moria Pul project site. He expressed grave concerns over delay in the project worth Rs700 million. The DG also issued show-cause notices to an assistant director and a sub-engineer besides reprimanding the chief engineer allegedly for not com-ing up to the government’s expectations,” he maintained. However, the outgoing chief engineer, who has been given the charge of Traffic Engineering & Transport Planning Agency (Tepa), dispelled the impression, stating that there was no problem on his part. “There is no issue with my qualification.
Moreover, there is no issue related to delay or non-completion of projects on my part,” Mr Razaq said. “It is the prerogative of the government to appoint anyone eligible for the job,” he added. It merits mentioning that the LDA, except Firdaus Market Underpass, didn’t complete various major or minor projects during the last one year or so. The projects delayed included the electrification works at the mega LDA City. Though most of this project’s adjoining posh housing schemes, including DHA-Rahber, Lake City, Fazaia have been developed providing modern living to the people, the works especially electrification related ones are still pending. Moreover, the gas-related infra-structure too is yet to be completed. Various development works, including laying of gas pipes in Block-C of LDA Avenue-1, are yet to be completed. The other incomplete projects include Rs8 billion sports complexes in all the National Assembly constituencies of Lahore that were launched by the PML-N government, but the work was halted during the interim set-up and the ongoing period of PTI-led Punjab government.
However, the government following severe public criticism released Rs1.5bn for completion of the sports complexes. But till this date, all these complexes are incomplete, exposing negligence on the part of the quarters concerned. Various projects related to patchwork of city roads or provision of missing facilities (street lights etc.) in Johar Town, Gulberg and other localities are also incomplete. Talking to Dawn, the newly-appointed chief engineer said his top priority would be to complete all delayed projects.

Credits: By Khalid Hasnain  – DAWN

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