PAN, August 23, 2013
MPs accused of impeding road project
Funds for the highway were allocated a year back, but the contract could not be awarded so far because of the authorities’ selfishness and delaying tactics
By Ali Mohammad Nazari
Some elected public representatives are impeding the execution of public welfare projects in southeastern Paktika province, civil society activists alleged on Friday.
Parliamentarians from the province sought their share (percentage) in development funds from construction companies, the Orgun Youth Cultural Society chief claimed.
In this July 2009 photograph, an Afghan construction crew works on a planned 17.5-mile, U.S.-funded road in Ghazni province. After only two-thirds of a mile was paved in three years, U.S. officials terminated the contract in October 2011, having spent $4 million. (Photo: U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team, Ghazni/MCT/U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team, Ghazni/MCT)
Yaqub Khan Manzoor told Pajhwok Afghan News officials of construction firms complained their efforts to get the contract for the highway linking Orgun, Sharan, Shakeen and Sarobi were being frustrated by MPs.
$50 million funds approved for the highway might lapse and Paktika residents could be deprived of development projects if corruption in high places persisted unchecked, he warned.
Another social worker from the district, Niamatullah Khalid, held a similar view. He accused certain Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga members obstructed major schemes for the sake of their personal interests.
Funds for the highway were allocated a year back, but the contract could not be awarded so far because of the authorities’ selfishness and delaying tactics, he said.
Provincial council chief, Abdul Matin Faqirzada, linked the delay in rebuilding the road to “undue meddling and efforts to enhance personal interest” by some quarters. As a result, fresh bids have been called for the project.
Senator Juma Din Gayanwal acknowledged some lawmakers from the province hampered the road project. If residents demand, he is ready to name such legislators.
But Syed Ishaq Gilani, a member of the Wolesi Jirga from Paktika, promised he would do all he could to deal with the elements creating hurdles to the road’s construction. Efforts at scuttling development plans amounted to a disservice to the entire nation, he concluded.
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