Kunar residents warn of retaking school land
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Residents on Tuesday warned of retaking land they had donated for a girls’ school in the Dangam district of eastern Kunar province if the government did not complete construction work on its building.
A contract for construction of a building for the school in Bidad area had been concluded in Kabul and residents had devoted a piece of land for it four years ago, but the structure is yet to be fully built.
A resident of the area, Itbar Khan, who had donated half an acre of his land to the school, told Pajhwok Afghan News construction work on the school building had been halted four years ago.
He said tribal elders and residents had tried their level best to get resumed the construction work, but in vain.
He said if the government had no intention to complete the school building, he would start cultivating crops on the devoted land.
“Construction work on the school building was stopped four years ago. The contractors had once brought some woods used in construction works, but they took them away later. The school currently depicts a picture of rubble.”
Khan said every new provincial education director had promised resuming construction work on the school, but they did nothing in practical.
Provincial council’s deputy head, Jamaluddin Sayar, also confirmed construction work on the school building had been stopped four years ago. He said currently displaced families were housed in the facility and they led a miserable life due to no facility on the land.
“Work on the school was stopped four years ago. Residents have been complaining to us and we have assured them that the issue will be taken up with the governor’s house.”
Provincial Education Director Syed Jamaluddin Hasni said the Ministry of Education had signed a contract for the school building with a local company in Nangarhar called “Sharq”.
He said the firm had completed 70 percent work on the school building before abandoning the project.
He said he had discussed the issue with provincial as well as Kabul officials and had referred the construction company to the prosecutor’s office, but there had been no positive response so far.
He said he had also submitted a report to the Education Ministry in this regard and repeatedly called the firm’s officials to appear before him, but they did not.
Kunar police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Habib Syedkhel said police were searching for officials of the Sharq company to find them and bring them to justice in cooperation with Nangarhar authorities.
Acting governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala linked the incomplete project to signing its contract in Kabul and handing over the project to sub-contractors.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News nothing had been achieved from the 5.6 million afghanis contract for the school building. Jalala said such contracts should be signed by provincial governments in order to keep construction firms from abandoning projects.
“The Nangarhar Sharq Company has no office in Jalalabad or here in Kunar, it has no telephone numbers. I don’t think the firm itself had started the project. It must be a subcontractor who fled before completing 75 percent of work, for which the sub-contractor seems to have received funds.”
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