Probe finds massive corruption in Booni pipeline project

BOONI, Feb 17: The one-man commission formed to probe the allegations of corruption in the Booni water pipeline project has unearthed wide-scale irregularities and embezzlement in the project, a source close to the development told ChitralToday. 

The source said the commission had submitted its report to a local court which sent it to Swat for further action by the consumer court there.

In November 2014, District and Sessions Judge Chitral appointed Assistant Commissioner Mastuj Minhas Uddin as the one-member commission to investigate the allegations of corruption against the Public Health Department (PHD). The allegations against the department were levelled by Tehreek Haqooq-e-Awam upper Chitral.

The commission was directed to submit a report on December 6. However, the AC later refused to conduct the inquiry. As a result, Sahibur Rehman, the principal of the Govt High School Booni, was appointed as the one-man commission.

Work on the Booni pipeline project was started in 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs30.39 million. The project was approved in 2010 on the recommendation of PML-N leader Ameer Muqam. However, a member of the Tehreek Haqooq-e-Awam told ChitralToday that in the past the district and sessions judge also worked as the consumer court. But last year the consumer court was shifted to Darul Qaza Swat.

As a result, the inquiry report has been sent to Swat for hearing. The judge in Booni was of the view that the consumer court Swat can either set up a camp court in Booni or summon the applicants and the accused to Swat. A member of the Tehreek said by issuing a notification to shift the consumer court Chitral to the divisional level at Swat, the PTI government had snatched the right of access to justice from the people of Chitral. He said how it would be possible to take over 500 witnesses from Booni to Swat on every hearing of the case in the consumer court. He demanded that the government should withdraw the notification and restore the consumer court’s functioning in Chitral.

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