Metro bus project audit: AGP points out irregularities of over Rs5b

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Sheraz Rathore

Islamabad

The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has pointed out a misappropriation of over Rs5 billion in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project.

According to the audit report, the officials concerned refused to provide the record of more than 100 audit paras to the auditors.

The audit report for the year 2015-16 had raised questions concerning the difference between the cost presented by the planning division and the expenditures showed by the construction company.

The audit officials had also raised mentioned that low-quality material had been used in the project.

According to the audit report, the officials concerned did not obtain a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before initiating the project.

At the beginning of the project, the planning commission had given suggestions to plant more saplings alongside the metro bus track, however, construction companies did not follow the directions.

The project was completed at a cost of over Rs40.830 billion. The previous PML-N government had launched the project in 2014 and its PC-1 was approved at a cost of Rs44 billion. Both federal and Punjab governments had agreed to bear 50 percent burden of the subsidy being offered to the travellers.

The PML-N government completed the project in July 2015 at a cost of Rs40.830 billion and of which, Rs2.80 billion was spent on the purchase of land and Rs380 million on the construction work.

The audit officials said that an additional Rs2 billion damages were incurred under the head of different goods. Moreover, Rs 290 million losses were incurred to national kitty by paying to private people.

According to the audit report, a huge sum was spent on unnecessary construction material, around Rs250 million was spent under the services head prior to the plying of the buses.

Moreover, damages costing Rs150 million were incurred by making changes in the design of the project and a sum of Rs40 million was wasted due to the wrong planning.

The audit officials have also pointed out irregularities of Rs5.180 billion during the review of the financial management.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had formally inaugurated the metro bus project at the Convention Centre Islamabad. It has 14 bus terminals in Islamabad and 10 in Rawalpindi.