Pak to probe $100 mn scandal
Pak is probing a scandal surrounding the $100 mn purchase of 69 Chinese locomotives that are too heavy to run on tracks.india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 11:46 IST
The Pakistan government is probing a scandal surrounding the $100 million purchase of 69 Chinese locomotives that are too heavy to run on tracks in this country.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz ordered the probe after it was revealed that the 3,000-horsepower locomotives weigh 140 tonnes, but local tracks can withstand only up to 132 tonnes of weight, the Daily Times reported.
The deal, with a Chinese suppliers' credit of $100 million, was signed when Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi, presently the education minister, headed Pakistan Railways.
The deal, which was discussed in detail by parliament's Public Accounts Committee, caused uproar in the senate.
The disclosure that top railway bosses had sanctioned the deal despite the locomotives being unfit for Pakistani rail tracks came at the second meeting of an inquiry team appointed by the prime minister.
According to documents made available to the Daily Times, investigators were informed that railway bosses had overlooked the fact that the Chinese locomotives could not operate on local tracks.
The weight factor apart, the Chinese locomotives could operate at speeds of 105-110 km per hour. However, Pakistan's railways system was not fit for such high-speed operations.