PCB claims previous regime mishandled money

January 9th, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 9 (IANS) The top brass of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) claims that it has unearthed a major scam involving the previous regime which they said had cost the PCB almost half a billion rupees.A PCB spokesman said Friday that massive irregularities have been discovered in the construction of Far End Pavilion at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. According to him, constructed work that started Feb 7 was to be completed by Aug 31.

“The VIP enclosure at the Gaddafi Stadium was conceived by the previous management of PCB and was a showpiece to be ready before the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in Sept 2008 at a cost of Rs.142 million for usable area of 55,000 square feet. The architect who was awarded the contract was a close friend of Shafqat Naghmi (ex chief operating officer),” he said.

The spokesman said that the project design is faulty - huge columns have been constructed which have blocked spectators’ view. Hospitality boxes have been ill-conceived and huge dinning room areas have been left at the back of the boxes which have very little utility.

“The total cost has reached staggering figure of Rs.471 million. The whole project is a monumental disaster, utter wastage of PCB funds and is a tribute to the management ego and vision of grandeur. The project was to be completed by August 31. It was sheer negligence and incompetence of the previous management that the project has not been completed in time and there has been a colossal cost increase. The amazing aspect of the whole fraudulent tender is that a hefty advance has already been paid to the contractor,” he said.

The spokesman said that Naghmi and another senior PCB official even travelled abroad at the PCB expense to see various cricket stadiums. The architect too had a couple of visits abroad at PCB expense. “When the architect was questioned about the non-functional design, the reply was that the design was made as per clients’ instructions and vision,” he said.

The spokesman revealed that PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has taken a serious note of the cost overrun of the project and under his instructions the work on the project has been stopped.

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