NLC awarded two projects without bidding

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RAWALPINDI, Sept 5: The Punjab government has handed over two more multi-million projects to the National Logistic Cell (NLC) without any bidding, creating disappointment among private contractors.

Sources said though the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) had conceived the projects, the construction of a flyover at Chandni Chowk costing Rs45 million and a Rs38 million underpass at Chorh Chowk had been contracted out to the army-run organisation while the communication and works (C&W) department would be the executing agency.Government contractors have already raised objections to what they say monopoly of a single contractor that has so far undertaken the entire development projects in the Rawalpindi city, cantonment and Murree tehsil.

“The Punjab government has given dozens of projects to NLC without completing legal formalities. This practice not only violates the rules formulated by Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) but also encourages monopoly in the construction industry,” said Chairman Government Contractors Welfare Association Chaudhry Abdul Hafeez while talking to Dawn on Monday.

He said the construction of entire roads, parks and other mega projects in Rawalpindi and Murree had been given to NLC despite the fact that there were more than 300 A-class contractors in the region.

The decision to hand over the two projects to National Logistic Cell was made by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Islamabad recently though the Rawalpindi Development Authority had also given him a briefing on the execution of the projects.

When contacted, superintending engineer C&W Farhar Munir told this reporter that his department had been chosen as the executing agency by the chief minister after it completed a flyover at Kalma Chowk in Lahore on time. He maintained that the chief executive of the province had discretionary powers to award any project to certain contractor.

But official sources and government engineers raised eyebrows over the selection of the contractor in undertaking mega projects in the province.

They said repeated unilateral decisions of the provincial government in favour of the army-run contractor was creating anxiety among private contractors.


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