LAHORE Taking benefit from the assassination of District Officer Roads Muhammad Nasim Akhtar during the last year, the mafia in Works and Services Department of the City District Government have intensified efforts to get millions of rupees released through bogus documentation of dozens of ghost development projects across the City, TheNation has learnt. The deceased District Officer Roads was looking after hundreds of development schemes on important City roads including Ferozepur Road and Jail Road. Nasim Akhtar was kidnapped along with his driver and later murdered by unknown persons in the beginning of last year. According to the sources, the Works and Services department forwarded files for payment of Rs 25 million against 41 road rehabilitation and repair projects to the Finance and Budget department during the last week. Majority of the files lacked tenders and work orders, creating doubts in the minds of City District Government high-ups that ultimately hindered release of payment to the contractors. For the approval of most of the schemes, sources in Works and Services Department claimed, the mafia affixed bogus signature of the deceased District Officer Roads. Signatures of the District Officer Roads even did not match on different files. The sources further maintained that all 41 files have been returned to the Works and Services Department with the suggestion to complete necessary documentation including copies of tenders and work orders besides on ground verification regarding execution of development projects. These small scale projects include road and footpath repair, curbstone and installation of fences along roads in various parts of the City. The department will carryout on ground verification and complete necessary documentation before releasing payment to the contractors. The department will ensure that contractors get payment against genuine projects and not the ghost ones, said an official at the Works and Services Department seeking anonymity. He further said that payment against a number of genuine projects including construction of Ferozepur Road, rehabilitation of Jail Road and portions of Canal Bank Road had already been released. The City District Government has released Rs 367 million to the contractor working on Ferozepur Road. Similarly, the contractors have already been paid for completing construction work and repair on Jail Road and Canal Bank Road, the official said. Iqtidar Gilani