ISLAMABAD - The controversial light emitting diode (LED) project of top civic body was challenged before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.
The petition was filed by two lawyers of the city, seeking court’s direction to halt this expensive project of Rs 6.5 billion by saving public money. Making Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) as respondent, the petitioners Advocate Muhammad Naseem and Syed Shajjar Abbas have challenged the controversial LED lights project of CDA.
Under the project, around 65,000 conventional streetlights in the city will be replaced by LED lights, which cost significantly more than normal lights. The petitioners contended before the court that CDA has awarded the LED lights contract to M/s Oslo firm backed by an influential Islamabad-based businessman with close ties to the upper echelon of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.
The petitioners maintained that Central Development Working Party (CDWP) of Planning Commission during a meeting in October 2010 had rejected and some observations including the unit price of this project which is Rs 100,000 per light. The financial rate of return of the project was not favourable that was required to be considered by CDA, and authority was advised to consult Ministry of Law to ensure the transparency because Transparency International (TI) also expressed concern over the opaque manner in which the contract was awarded.
“According to the TI, CDA is procuring LED at the price of Rs 150,000 per light however such lights are available at the price Rs 20,000, and the entire cost of the project can not be more than Rs 1.36 billion and contract was awarded at the cost of Rs 6.5 billion which has burden on exchequers as Asian Development Bank (ADB) had also refused to finance the project.
Similarly the petitioners argued that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has also raised objection on the tendering process.
The petitioners prayed to the court to direct Chairman Capital Development Authority CDA not to take any steps in pursuance of this project and also requested the court to direct respondent to halt the project. The case has fixed for Wednesday (today) before the Chief Justice IHC with objection of faint copy of petition.