ISLAMABAD: The National Accoun¬tability Bureau (NAB) has started complaint verification on alleged irregularities in award of the contract of a mega transport project in Karachi called Blue Line Project (BLP).
According to NAB, the verification has been started on the compliant of Trans¬parency Inter¬national (TI) which pointed out serious wrongdoings in the process of the award of BLP’s contract.
The TI wrote to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and the director general of NAB’s Karachi Region on May 4, regarding “non transparent procedure of Public Private Part-nership (PPP) unit of Sindh government regarding award of Blue Line Project”.
Interestingly, a firm, allegedly involved in illegalities in the controversial Saaf Pani Project of Lahore, is also participating in the BLP.
The BLP is a 10.1km long road project with an estimated cost of Rs16 billion at Sharah-i-Pakistan. Buses to be plied on it will go from Asif Square (Sohrab Goth) to Gurumandir via Water Pump, Ayesha Manzil and Karimabad. At Grumandir, the project will link with Green Line Project, another mass transport project in Karachi.
The bidding process was participated by two joint ventures Engin¬eering Associates (EA) Consulting-S.M.C-Assad Const¬ruction (JV) and Maqbool Associ¬ates-CALS¬ONS-Kainatt Enterprises (JV).
The TI letter, available with Dawn said the firm EA Consulting was a consultant firm and not a contractor. The letter has also been sent to the chief justice of Sindh High Court (SHC).
“The chief minister and government of Sindh is requested to kindly examine this compliant and order for cancellation of the tender which was not compliance with Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) Rules and this project does not come under unsolicited category,” the TI letter said.
A senior NAB official told Dawn that the Sindh Mass Transport Authority (SMTA) had also submitted a plan of BLP being executed under Bus Rapid Transport System to the bureau. Under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, details of any project costing over Rs50 million is shared with NAB.
Sources said that NAB was considering to formally initiate an inquiry into the matter after a number of other irregularities were also found in the bidding process for BLP.