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Behsud bridge contractor detained amid social media outcry

Behsud bridge contractor detained amid social media outcry

Oct 04, 2017 - 17:38

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The owner and workers of a construction company that built a bridge in eastern Nangarhar province have been arrested on corruption charges.

The second Behsud bridge, the country’s largest, has partially damaged due to its poor construction before its inauguration.

Some social media activists and media outlets accused the Ministry of Public Works of negligence in supervising the bridge’s construction process.

However, Nangarhar governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal on Wednesday visited the bridge and ordered arrest of officials of the company that had been awarded the contract of the $5 million project.

Mangal’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok Afghan News that police arrested the owner and two engineers of the company on Wednesday.

He quoted the governor as calling the second Behsud bridge “very important” for the area and any construction company that used poor quality materials in welfare projects would be taken to the task.

Meanwhile, a number of civil society activists said the Behsud bridge case should not be closed only by detention of the company officials. They insisted those involved in corruption should be seriously investigated.

Abdul Rahman Mawin, head of Nangarhar Protection Network, a civil society institute, said the company officials should be referred to the attorney office.

He said the men should not be released without punishment as forgiving such individuals would widen the gap between the public and the government.

Provincial council members also held similar views and asked the government to treat the detainees in accordance with the law.

Sayed Mehdi Pacha, a provincial council member, said the council would pursue the case and would cooperate with local government to punish those involved.