It can take tens of years and millions of dollars to construct a building- but all of it can diminish in a day if the work is not done carefully. The new Islamabad International Airport, inaugurated by then Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in May, had been declared a world class facility, but has suffered many instances of mismanagement since its inauguration.

Reports of cracks appearing and leakages occurring in the building walls indicate a more permanent problem that the Airport may face. The customs cargo (airfreight unit) building might be shut down completely by the administration due to the building caving in. The trouble happened when small cracks began forming in the building walls- which then became bigger by the day until the building eventually began to cave. Now, due to the staff’s refusal to keep working in a potentially dangerous building, the administration of the Airport has shifted all staff and workers to an alternative place provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The customs cargo building was inaugurated in May but the airport staff reports that cracks began occurring just three months after the inauguration. This indicates that, despite funds of a billion rupees dedicated to the construction of the airport, the planning of the buildings was not done thoroughly and essential factors such as leakage and caving were not taken into consideration. The new airport had already been criticised by the opposition for its drainage of the State funds- the fact that after such a hefty budget, there is still enormous mismanagement which now needs more money to correct is a huge wastage of money. Not only will the Airport have to face the cost of reallocating the hundreds of workers and cargo shipment to an alternate building but it will also have to reallocate a post office and a National Bank of Pakistan office which the Airport building was housing.

This is not the first case of mismanagement from what was supposed to be a world class airport- in October, five people were injured due to the collapse of the ceiling of a baggage section and a month earlier, the airport manager was dismissed after stray dogs were seen wandering the facility’s premises on video. While the billions of rupees spent on the Airport cannot come back, these severe cases of mismanagement should serve as important lessons to the new government on the mistakes of past regimes, and how not to repeat them.