Corruption mars Ghazni uplift projects
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Brazen corruption has been a principal factor in the poor quality of development projects in southern Ghazni province, public representatives and residents complain.
Most project contracts are awarded to individuals, including tribal elders, who have close links with the government, they said, arguing millions of dollars this go down the drain.
A provincial council member, Nadir Khan Giruwal, told Pajhwok Afghan News many construction companies paid bribes to government officials in return for project contracts.
“The contractors are either strongmen or have close connections with the authorities. Many of them are elders who rub shoulders with provincial government officers on a daily basis,” Giruwal alleged.
A majority of high-ranking officials own construction firms that are given big-time contracts, according to the public representative, who claimed many reconstruction schemes implemented in Ghazni needed to be reviewed.
Hamid Gulistani, another member of the council, alleged both government officials and company owners did not want to spend more than 50 percent of funds.
“Corruption begins at the top and runs down to the project engineer. How such a scheme can be executed successfully,” he asked, adding their complaints in this regard had been ignored by the governor’s office.
The people at large also blame the governor’s house for the current state of affairs on the reconstruction front. The projects done over the past few years need to be implemented afresh, they say.
A provincial capital resident grumbled the roads built a year ago were in dilapidated condition. Mohammad Akbari said shrines had been renovated, but deprived of their originality and excellence.
He has not seen a single project that was inspected by local officials during the execution period, according to Akbari. The contractors being government servants have to choose between attending their offices and visiting project sites.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi also acknowledged the problem, saying most of the contracts were signed in Kabul and the provincial administration reserved no right to supervise the projects.
Admittedly, the quality of many reconstruction schemes such as roads, schools and health clinics had been low, he said. During the current, the lion’s share of development funds has been devoted to the renovation of historical sites.
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