Ring Road Scandal; The fact-finding committee broke up and the investigation is suspended

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Ring Road Scandal; The fact-finding committee broke up and the investigation is suspended
Ring Road Scandal; The fact-finding committee broke up and the investigation is suspended
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LAHORE: The fact-finding committee of the Rawalpindi Ring Road mega-corruption scandal has been disbanded, leaving the investigation of this most important matter pending.

According to the source, the Punjab government had formed a three-member fact-finding committee comprising Commissioner Rawalpindi Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, Additional Commissioner Rawalpindi Jahangir Ahmed, and Deputy Commissioner Anwar-ul-Haq to probe the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal. Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah was appointed convener of the committee.
The committee has to investigate under 3 TORs and submit 3 separate reports in this regard. In the first report, the committee had to prove allegations of commission and bribery in the project. The second report was to identify the policy that led to corruption in the project, while the third report was to give detailed suggestions regarding development projects for Rawalpindi.

The committee prepared its first report but a member of the committee, former deputy commissioner Anwar-ul-Haq, expressed reservations and refused to sign the report. On which the government not only expelled him from the committee but also transferred him. After the transfer of Anwar-ul-Haq, the fact-finding committee has broken.

The committee had to submit its other two reports to the government immediately after Eid-ul-Fitr but the Punjab government did not issue any notification for the re-establishment of the committee while the convener of the committee Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah could not take any decision. After which the investigation of this mega corruption scandal is now pending.

What is the Ring Road Scandal?

In 2017, the then Punjab government had decided to build a 40-km ring road to reduce traffic congestion in Rawalpindi. All the formalities in this regard were completed, but the new government came to power as a result of the 2018 elections. The project stalled, but last year the project suddenly became operational and was extended by 26 km. The project unnecessarily benefited at least 10 housing projects by billions of rupees.

Upon receiving the news of corruption in the matter, the Prime Minister took notice of it and removed Commissioner Rawalpindi Captain (retd) Mahmood Ahmed and appointed Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah. The Prime Minister ordered an inquiry and the Punjab government formed a committee.

The committee in its first report also accused some political figures, retired military, and civil bureaucrats of benefiting, saying that some housing societies and influential political figures benefited from the change in the ring road map approved in 2017. Former Commissioner Capt (retd) Mahmood Ahmed and suspended Land Acquisition Commissioner Wasim Tabish paid Rs 2.30 billion for acquiring land for the road in the wrong way. Benefited the family.

The report said that former commissioner Capt. (Retd) Mahmood Ahmed and other officials had altered the alignment made by Nespak in 2017 by illegally adding Attock Loop and Paswal Zig Zig to dozens of housing units in the surrounding areas. He benefited societies, many of which were anonymous.

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