Kalma Chowk flyover Unrealistic deadline weighs workers down

LAHORE, June 19: Completion of Kalma Chowk project by Aug 14 (as directed by the chief minister) is a tough target which if achieved under pressure will reflect heavily on its quality.

Such an expression of fear came from Communication and Works Department’s Joint Action Committee chairman Engineer Safdar Raza who spoke to Dawn here on Sunday.

He said the Mughalpura overhead bridge was completed well in time under pressure from the chief minister but it contained many faults. The government must not repeat the folly again, said Mr Raza, who is also the Punjab Building Highways’ Engineers Welfare Association president.

He said the chief minister had suspended from service in-charge chief engineer Munawwar Bashir and former chief engineer Ibrar Sultan for starting construction of Lahore-Kasur Road without getting the utility services cleared. But the Kalma Chowk project had been started without clearing the site of the utility services – an action which manifests double standards of the
government, he said.

He said Ibrar Sultan died of a heart attack while going to Hazro near Attock on May 30 last for hasty preparation of the inauguration of some schools’ buildings by the chief minister. He was under tremendous pressure as he was asked to immediately leave for the place and make arrangements for the inauguration.

Mr Raza said the staff deputed at the Kalma Chowk was under immense pressure to meet the deadline of Aug 14 which was “technically and humanly not possible”. They were doing everything to meet the target under pressure from the government knowing fully well that the time naturally required for ably constructing anything should not be compromised.

“I do fear that those out to complete the project within the given time will not be able to ensure quality. And who will be responsible for the mistakes, if any, is a big question to ask,” he said.Mr Raza alleged that the project was given to the NLC without any competition, which again sublet it to a private contractor on the same pattern.

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