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Corruption seen behind substandard projects in Parwan

Corruption seen behind substandard projects in Parwan

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On
Sep 24, 2017 - 15:04

CHARIKARinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A retaining wall, a madrasa building and two roads have been constructed, but the quality of all these projects in central Parwan province is poor, Pajhwok Afghan News findings indicate.

Some people see administrative corruption, award of contracts to powerful figures and intervention from some government officials behind the inferior quality of the schemes.

Roads

Abdul Matin Qudusi, a provincial council member, alleged a 3.5-kilometre road built in Ajmil and Qalandari areas of the provincial capital  was of dismal quality.

The executing agency was the Rashid Sultani Company. He said the project cost 30 million afghanis paid by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD).

“A 100-metre stretch of this road was wet. We told the company to gravel and fill it properly. But the firm did it superficially. We asked the company to fill it twice, but it didn't,” he said.

Sher Mohammad, chief engineer with the Rashid Sultani Company, said they would reconstruct the stretch, as previous construction was not up to the satisfaction of the provincial council member.

Local residents also grumbled about the subpar construction of a five kilometres road between the Syedkhel district center and Pul-i-Mullahinfo-icon Aziz area of the Hesa-i-Dwom district of Parwan.

Haji Qandagha, a resident of Aqtash area, said: “This road was built in 2008 of inferior standard; its ground surface was not properly prepared. Only tar was sprinkled on sands. The road's destruction began a year after its construction.”

He called corruption the main reason behind defective projects. Contracts for most of the projects were awarded to powerful individuals and people could not raise their voice against them, he added.

Ghulam Hazrat, hailing from the Chinki village of Syedkhel district and head of people’s council. also hit out at shabby condition of the road that was damaged only a year after its construction.

“The road is full of potholes; cars can hardly travel it, particularly during rains and snowfalls when the holes are full of water. The damaged portions haven't been repaired,” he continued.

Syedkhel district chief Mohammad Lamar Osmanyar also acknowledged the road's quality was pretty poor. He was not in his current position at the time of the project’s implementation.

He explained the reconstructioninfo-icon of the road had been approved by the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) and work on it would start in the near future.

Retaining wall

Syed Akram, leader of Hufyan Sharif village in Charikar, said the construction of a 1,000 metres retaining wall along the Ajmil stream was completed by the Rashid Sultani Company in six months.

After 700 metres of the wall was built, he saw engineers using mud instead of cement in some parts. Akram easily separated portions of the wall where mud had been used.

He said local residents complained about the low quality of the construction to the provincial rural rehabilitation and development department.

Subsequently, the department appointed a team to oversee the construction process. But some parts of the wall were not repaired, he maintained. Abdul Matin Qudusi said a 700 metres part of the wall was substandard.

However, sectorial director, Mohammad Zahir Himmat, said parts of the wall had already been reconstructed.

Sher Mohammad, chief engineer of the construction company, said: “People complained the wall was of low quality, but the MRRD found no issues when some of its parts were checked.”

Building of a madrasa

Local officials said the building of Darul-Ulom Ali Mohammad Bin Hasan Shebani Madrasa in the Aqtash area of Syedkhel district was constructed with financial aid from Japan last year.

Abdul Latif Syedkheli, educationinfo-icon director of the district, said the seminary building was not commissioned due to its poor quality.

“Its walls and ceiling are crumbling. Its doors have been damaged in less than a year. Chairs and tables are not worth using, with stairs and metallic cover installed improperly,” he noted.

The official said that the building was constructed by a provincial council member who had been awarded its contract. However, he did not name the public representative.

Syedkheli said though he was under pressure from some officials, yet he did not approve the building's implementation.

Mohammad Lamar Osmanyar also said that the building was constructed with low quality despite they oversaw the construction process.

“Its walls were built very poor, we destroyed it and ordered reconstruction, but the quality was still poor, we were unable to oversee it day and night,” he said.

He said that he heard the building was approved by Parwan education department.

The education department’s administrative and financial manager, Nizamuddin Rahimi, confirmed approving the building. He said complaints about the building's quality were raised after its completion.

The quality of the building should be checked by a technical team, he suggested. If technical experts found the project with flaws, it should be done anew, he concluded.

mds/mud

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