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NHA seeks details of motorway funds as DC flees to UAE

The National Highway Authority (NHA) has sought details about the motorway funds from the Sindh government, misappropriated in a mega scam as DC Naushehro Feroze fled to UAE.

The officials of the NHA have asked about the extent of funds released for land procurement for the motorway project from Hyderabad to Sukkur. Misappropriated in the scandal.

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A fact-finding committee of the NHA also visited Matiari and Naushehro Feroze districts. The committee members held meetings with the real owners of the land and sought details of the matter from them, sources said.

The highway authority also demanded of the provincial government hand over the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for inquiry into the scam.

“It is a matter of banking transactions, the NAB should be entrusted for return of the amount,” NHA officials were quoted as saying.

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Chief Secretary Sindh Dr Mohammad Sohail Rajput sought permission from the Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah over the matter. Earlier the Sindh government had written to the federal government seeking the suspension of deputy commissioner Naushehro Feroze over his role in the M-6 graft scandal.

It was disclosed that deputy commissioner Tashfeen Alam Arain who was also involved in the scandal after remaining absent from his office for many days fled to UAE to avoid his arrest.

A huge amount was released by the government to deputy commissioners for procurement of land for the motorway was misappropriated. According to documents the National Highway Authority (NHA) had released an amount of Rs4.09 billion DC Matiari for the purchase of the land for the motorway. The accused drew Rs1.82 billion cash from Sindh Bank for the procurement of land for 70 kilometres of the road, according to documents.

An amount of Rs4 billion was transferred to another account by the accused which earned Rs540 million profit. AC New Saeedabad paid cash to the landowners instead of cheques, according to case papers.

According to credible sources, the officials of the Anti-Corruption Establishment on Wednesday completed their investigation into the scam. It was revealed that out of 410 land owners only 90 real landholders were given the amount for their lands while the remaining amount was misappropriated by revenue officials in connivance with local influential landlords.

The same sources said that the arrested DC Matiari and other officials who were arrested and interrogated made startling disclosures of the alleged involvement of an influential political family from Hala town.

They added that the name of the Sindh Minister for Revenue Department might be included in the final report by ACE officials.



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