CHITRAL: An amount of Rs60 million provided by German WISH aid agency for the rehabilitation of the British era parade ground (school ground) have gone down the drain due to the alleged misuse of the funds and substandard work, it has been learnt by ChitralToday.
While providing the amount in 2017, the German NGO had said the sports facility would serve the youth for over 50 years. But nine months after the project was completed in 2019, the sitting area for spectators and walls of the ground have developed cracks, water supply lines got dismantled and grass in the ground worn out.
It has been learnt that the funds were directly provided to the Centennial Model High School for Boys, which owns the ground. A contractor belonging to outside Chitral was hired for the construction work without floating tenders.
The contractor got the work completed within a couple of months in 2019 and disappeared.
As the sitting place of the ground started cracking with other damages, some labourers could be seen now carrying out the repair work.
Local people have called upon the district administration and the education department to take notice of the issue and order an investigation against those responsible for the faulty work on the ground despite the handsome grant provided by the German NGO.
Brief history of the parade ground
The parade ground, the first ever in Chitral, was established in the year 1938 by then Mehtar of Chitral His Highness Nasir Ul Mulk. As it was located near the Chitral Fort and Shahi Masjid, the ground was called Shahi Parade Ground.
Since partition to 1970, the ground remained under the use of the local police but in 1970 the provincial education department purchased the ground from the royal family for the Govt High School for Boy Chitral. Since then it is known as the School Ground.
In 2017, the management of the school (now Centennial Model High School for Boys) singed an agreement with WISH International through the German Aid to construct and rehabilitate the ground.
When the work was completed in early 2019, many sports organizations expressed their reservations over the quality of work at the site but no one gave any importance to their objections.
Now within less than a year, the walls and sitting places for the spectators have developed cracks and the grass in the ground along with the water pipelines worn out.
The PTI government had promised that sports facilities would be established in Chitral along with the construction of a stadium in the town.
While none of these promises could be fulfilled even though the party has been in power in KP for about seven years, people here expect that the government will take action against those who did not utilize the funds provided by the foreign NGO to rehabilitate the ground in a proper manner.–Bashir Hussain Azad