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Serious irregularities unearthed in UET Jalozai campus project

Peshawar, May 15: Serious irregularities have been unearthed in the administrative and financial matters of Rs6.565 billion under-construction project of Jalozai campus of the NWFP University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar. Reliable sources said that administrative approval of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) to the execution of Jalozai campus project was formally notified by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on October 30, 2007 while the HEC released funds on March 6, 2008, while construction work to a "ghost contractor" was awarded by UET vide director works letter no. 2019-21/DOW/EU dated September 22, 2007.

The reason behind award of various contracts of the project prior to its approval and release of funds was to mint quick money by some of the top officials in the UET administration, the sources alleged.

The contract for the construction of the boundary wall of the Jalozai campus was awarded to contractor Al-Mayar Associates, Peshawar, on September 22, 2007. The estimated cost for the wall was Rs13.96 million, while an amount of Rs22.311 million was approved for it with a six-month duration for completion.

It was in February 2008, four months after the contract had been awarded, that the contractor refused to continue the construction, saying his firm was incapable to carry out further work on the already approved rates and the firm appealed to the university to cancel his contract before its completion, which the university did and also made payment to the firm, the sources said.

A senior official associated with the project said that the construction work on the boundary wall was substandard and it was not approved by the project director concerned and above all the contractor had left it halfway, even then payments were made by the vice-chancellor and director for finance for the incomplete work that raised eyebrows.

He said it was a matter of serious concern that a strong wall had been erected for jail at the same site several years ago which could not be utilised as the provincial government dropped the idea to shift the prison there. Now that the wall, which is well constructed, would be demolished and a substandard boundary wall is being erected instead, which is beyond understanding, he added.

It was under the Jalozai project that the finance director of the University Sarwar Khan visited USA and inked a memorandum of understanding with George Washington University under which teachers of the UET would be trained at MS and PhD levels.

Strange enough, three fresh graduates were sent to the said university under the Rs1.42 billion human resource development programme of Jalozai campus. They included Omer Imtiaz Gilani, son of incumbent vice-chancellor of UET Peshawar Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, the sources said and added that Omer was a fresh graduate of Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, Swabi.

The most interesting aspect of the project was that the vice-chancellor and finance director (a person with commerce degree having no formal planning or engineering background) were made indispensable for the 84-month-long project, the sources said.

Some senior professors of the university opined that appointment of vice-chancellor and finance director in the project was a bid to save their job particularly that of the later, who was going to retire by the end of this year.

Perhaps it would be the most unique PC-1 wherein the services of two persons were made necessary till completion of the minimum seven-year-long project. The PC-1 approved by the vice-chancellor and director finance, it says: "The project will be administered by the incumbent director for finance and planning as its principal officer and overall in charge under the supervision of the vice-chancellor. For this purpose, he will be elevated to the status of adviser on finance and planning on the analogy of the position of advisor in Higher Education Commission in Grade 21.

"Necessary provision for this position shall be made in the recurring budget of the university. As continuity of thoughts and action is an essential requirement for the successful implementation of any mega project, the position of existing top concerned management of UET dealing with this project (i.e. the incumbent vice-chancellor and director/advisor finance and planning) should remain unchanged till the competition of the project. Upon reaching the stage of superannuation, the incumbent director for finance and planning will continue to work as adviser on finance and planning giving the expert professional services to the university and also supervise this mega project till its completion. His salary after retirement will be fixed at market rate by the vice-chancellor. He will also retain his present official residence on Peshawar Campus, conveyance and free utilities for which necessary provision will be maintained in the UET recurring budget." The News

Your Comments
"This is very true story and clearly states the curruption of V.C and D.F. But as Governor NWFP, Owais Ghanni is close associate of V.C. Imtiaz Gillani, so no force can hurt V.C. Owais Ghanni also made a history by extending the V.C tenure by 4 years so that if he is not there after 2 years then his friend VC can work for long. This event is occurred for the first time in hisotory. It is also worth mentioning that Sarwar Khans son in law is also sent for PhD under Jalozai Project scheme while he did not fullfil the requirements. Besides that both VC and DF spend their summer vacations in USA under the Jalozai Project umberalla in signing academic linkages for which most appropriate person all over the world is Dean of Engineering. As new government is in place so they should work against this Lethal Combination of V.C. Imtiaz Gillani and D.F. Sarwar Khan to save University. "
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City, Country: Peshawar, Pakistan

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