By Muhammad Wali
LAHORE: A diesel scam worth over Rs1.7 million has come to surface in the Punjab Emergency Services Academy (Rescue 1122).
This was revealed in documents that are part of the ongoing departmental inquiry being held on the direction of the Punjab Home Department to probe the corrupt practices in the Rescue 1122 Academy.
As per documents available with Lahore Mirror, the fuel of generator installed in the Emergency Services Academy Thokar Niaz Baig for electricity backup in case of load-shedding was allegedly sold out under fuel adjustment with the help of a private petrol pump.
The documents exposed the involvement of two senior officials Dr Muhammad Farhan Khalid, the Registrar Emergency Services Academy, and Engr Shakeel Ahmed, the Deputy Director Repair and Maintenance, along with their subordinate electrician Irfan Hassan in the alleged embezzlement of over Rs1.7 million on account of fuel adjustment in the academy generator.
According to documents, the auto-module (Hours Meter Running) of the generator was changed instantly with the help of a private motorcar company to adjust the extra meter-reading after an inquiry committee was constituted to save themselves from scandal.
Through the replacement of new auto-module, a difference of 317 hours was created to adjust 10,461-litre diesel of Rs13,28,547. The generator’s per hour average is 18 to 20 but it was showed 30 to 34 litters/hour by the order of DD (R&M) Shakeel Ahmed.
Out of total cash received from a local petrol pump, the amount worth over Rs900,000 against diesel sold to the private pump was paid to Engr Shakeel including Rs600,000 directly paid for the installment of his plot in a private housing scheme besides other as miscellaneous payments. Similarly, over Rs300,000 were paid to Dr Farhan Khalid for purchasing his personal car and cell phones.
Amidst the ongoing inquiry, the accused senior officials tried to shift the entire responsibility to their subordinate Irfan.
After that, one of the accused leaked the secret information besides a couple of audio voices in which one officer Shakeel bluntly claimed while encouraging Irfan said that “most of them are thieves including the DG Rescue and above all Ali Hassan (Emergency Officer Law) who is also enjoying everything as he was suspended from his post a year ago in alleged corruption worth millions of rupees.
During the telephonic conversation, Shakeel told Irfan that nothing would be done against them and they didn’t need to worry.
Shakeel added that he had tried his best to approach the inquiry officer, but in vain.
Sources claim that the diesel embezzlement has been taking place since 2017 and it is feared that the elements involved in the scam might have earned millions.
Spokesperson of Rescue 1122 Farooq Ahmed in his version told this scribe that the inquiry of the matter is still under process so nothing is certain yet but the department is clear about one thing; that if found guilty, no one shall be spared irrespective of their rank.
He further said that Rescue 1122 is a reputable department of thousands of workers and its reputation will not be put at stake to hide the irresponsibility, if any, of a few employees.
Responding to the question regarding the mentioning of DG Rescue as a ‘thief‘ in the conversation between two Rescue employees, the recording of which is available with Lahore Mirror, the spokesperson said that the said conversation is also a part of the matter that is under investigation and the findings of the probe will show that justice has been served.