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Nangarhar governor, Alokozay Company trade blames

Nangarhar governor, Alokozay Company trade blames

Oct 08, 2017 - 17:41

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The owner of the company that built the second Behsud bridge in eastern Nangarhar province on Sunday said he was arrested as part of a conspiracy hatched by the provincial governor, requesting for his dignity to be restored.

However, the governor accused the company of corruption during implementation of the bridge project in Behsud district.

Noor Mohammad Alokozay, head of Alingar Alokozay Company, was arrested on the governor’s order after the second bridge in Behsud district partially damaged before its inauguration.

Photos of the damaged portion of the bridge went viral on social media, prompting the governor to take action. 

Arrested a week ago, Noor Mohammad Alokozay told a press conference on Sunday said that he had been illegally arrested under a conspiracy by the governor, but he was released by the Ministry of Public Works.

He said they initially submitted the bridge but faced with conspiracy of some individuals before formally inaugurating the bridge.

The bridge contract had been signed with the MoPW which also monitored the bridge during its construction, but the governor illegally detained them, he said.

“I was somehow aware about this issue in Eid ul Adha days, I urgently ordered my colleagues to blacktop the damaged part to prevent water from reaching the steel, but when I saw the area, someone had poured acid and chemicals on the damaged part,” he said.

He said some circles in Nangarhar wanted to prevent implementation of projects and discourage investments with such acts.

Alokozay said a professional team of MoPW was investigating the matter and a decision would follow soon.

But Nangarhar governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal said any company if found involved in corruption would face the same action.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Mangal said it proved corruption when a bridge got damaged before its inauguration.

The governor said he ordered detention of the company owner because the public, civil society activists and youths were angry over the issue and he tried to prevent a possible serious incident from occurring.

“Did you see how Farkhunda was killed in Kabul, if I did not arrest him such an incident was possible here too,” he said.

“I am not regretful over my order, I would neither apologize, I would show harsher reaction if the company repeats (corruption) in future,” he said.

Provincial council secretary, Zabihullah Zamari, also said a disaster was possible if the governor had not detained the company owner.

He said the Behsud bridge was a national project and the issue should be investigated and those involved in corruption should be taken to task.

Zabit Mangal, Nangarhar public works director, said the Behsud bridge project did not relate to them because the MoPW was watching it.

He said he was unaware about the detention of the company owner. Construction work on the second Behsud bridge was launched three years back but the more than three million US dollars project faced some problems due to lack of budget.