Never Ever Dream Again (Autobiography of Fazal Raziq Shahab) Part 44

I had not yet fully settled in Highway Sub Division Saidu Sharif when I faced the same situation as in Buner. The local contractor started grumbling against my adherence to the specification. I remember one of my officer, Mr. Ikramullah Khan gave me a big volume of a book, titled, “SPECIFICATIONS, BUILDING AND ROADS, WEST PAKISTAN.” It included every minute  detail of items of work, both in roads and Building, with analysis, ratios of materials, morters, bitumen, various kinds of woods admissible in buildings, stone and brick masonry, steel, soil specification.There was not any thing left unmentioned, used in the Nation Building Departments, i.e.Building and Roads Irrigation and Public Health.

I tried to strictly adhered to these details but the contractors, as a tradition evaded many rules for petty profits. It must be mentioned that Schedule of Rates in the above mentioned Departments are based on this book of Specifications according to market rates of material and 15 % margin for Contractor’s profit. Commission or kickbacks was and still considered as a routine system. So in order to safeguard their interest, the contractors try to save in some items of work. That was the bone of contention between me and the contractors. So,I was almost kept away from field work. Here, in proper Swat the contractors were more influential but I never gave up ground.The tussle went on as usual,any how I got enough to meet up my needs, without being short of money.

In 1988 I was posted in Building Division Swat. The office was in the same block but on the first floor. Tenders were floated for the construction of a new hostel in Government College of Technology at Panr Mingora. The then Superintending Engineer wanted me to supervise the construction work of the Hostel. The Contractor, who succeeded in getting the assignment, refused to work under my supervision and submitted written application to the High authorities for cancellation if his bed if I was to be his incharge. The Superintending Engineer noted on his application that Fazal Raziq would supervise the project  whether the contractor was willing or not. So he succumbed to the orders. But beyond all doubts and worries we completed the work in a pleasant atmosphere and cordial relations. We often went together to the site of work.

Our Project S.D.O was  Mian Inayatullah. A very noble and soft spoken officer who came from the ranks to this post. He had unwavered confidence in my performance. He got his retirement in Swat. We wanted to give him a befitting farewell. So we arranged a two days outing in Peshmal and Kalam. Here we learnt that Mian Sahib was the elder brother of the reknowned Pukhto poet, Ikramullah Gran, who came to help his brother in shifting from Swat. Gran remained with us for those two memorable days, leaving sweet memories in our hearts.

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