rawalpindi - The staff of Enforcement Department of Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) barred a company hired by the army to lay down optic-fibre cables on Ring Road and its suburbs as the contractor had not obtained permission from RCB for digging up the roads, reliable sources told The Nation on yesterday.

Sources said that the swift action on part of ED of RCB created a ruckus as military officers rushed to office of RCB to lodge a protest with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Saima Shah and to inform her that the contract was part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). They said that the contractor had also defied the orders of ED of RCB and started digging up roads again on which the CEO brought the matter into notice of Station Commander.

According to sources, the Signals Department of Pakistan Army has contracted the task of laying down the cable from Qasim Market near Peshawar Road to Bhatta Chowk on Misrial Road to Huawei Company. The contract was part of the Chine Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), they said.

They added that the company manpower started to excavate the roads to lay down the cable. On information, the RCB staff rushed to the site and stopped the labourers from digging up the road. The RCB staff took the tools of labourers into custody and brought the tools to cantonment board’s office.

On this, the military authorities contacted the RCB officials about stopping of their work. The RCB informed the military personnel to contact station headquarters for due permission for excavation of the road. However, sources said, the contractor brought other tools and started digging up the roads again which compelled CEO RCB Dr Saima Shah to seek help of Station Commander. “Dr Saima Shah held a meeting with Station Commander at his office and discussed the matter with detail,” sources said.

RCB Spokesperson Qaisar Mahmood, who is also secretary of the board, when contacted by The Nation, confirmed the development. He said that the board staff barred the labourers from excavating the roads. He said that the contractor company needed to have permission from the RCB authorities for digging up the road.

He said that when the RCB executive officer briefed the military authorities about the board rules, they submitted an application with station headquarter for the permission.

Explaining the board rules, the spokesperson said that the army or its contractor company needed to agree for paying compensation for rehabilitation of the damaged road.

He said the RCB would allow the contractor to lay down the cable after the company agreed to pay for repair of the roads.