Meeting with Chairman

Sir Bruce White studied Electrical Engineering at Imperial from 1902-1905. In World War Two, he directed the work on the Mulberry harbours, two temporary floating harbour structures used to land equipment and supplies in readiness for D-Day. Engineering advice was also taken from staff in our Civil Engineering department. The Mulberry harbours helped with the Allied supply chain before a after D-Day. One of the structures, Mulberry B, landed 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles and 4 million tons of goods in the 10 months after the invasion.

A British company M/s Sir Bruce White was awarded a contract of undertaking feasibility study of an offshore project near marginal wharf at port Qasim. On my resumption of duty, I received faxes daily from them, which were very nasty and a little short of being abusive. They were claiming that they had completed the job and that their bills may immediately be paid to them. Chairman PQA was seemingly upset and his anguish was visible in his remarks on these faxes. I sent a reply to them that I had recently taken over this project and that they should bear with me until I got myself acquainted with the contract. But their patience was running out and there was no respite in hurling threats through their faxes, and in fact they were getting more aggressive by every passing day.

On perusal of contract documents, I noticed a number of geo-technical studies that were required to be done by the contractor, but I was not able to find any progress reports in the file. I sent a fax to M/s Sir Bruce White to update me on these issues. There was no reply. I sent a reminder to them but again there was complete silence. In fact, they had stopped sending their nasty faxes also which indicated that they had defaulted in execution of contract and were hiding themselves for fear of being caught. The intensity of my reminders was increasing in the same manner as they were doing at the time of my joining. The tables had turned, and the contractor was on the run now.

Chairman PQA was observing all this and had no clue of what had happened all of a sudden, which had forced the contractor to go in hiding. Admiral Akbar H. Khan didn’t know me and I also didn’t know him as he had recently taken over charge of chairman on retirement of Admiral Waliullah during the time I was away from the port.  He called my old friend Afsar Din Talpur who had since been transferred from estate department and was now working as secretary PQA. Talpur told him about me and informed him that I had gone on deputation to Karachi fish harbour and had recently repatriated and was looking after this notorious case. Admiral Akbar called me in his office and warmly welcomed me. He directed me to summon the contractor. I made sure that the contractor completed his assignments as per contract and when I called him for the meeting with chairman; he was remorseful for his unsolicited aggressive attitude.  The chairman was very happy on my performance and from that day on, he would always call me for my advice on matters pertaining to planning & development of the port. And I owed all this expertise to my exposure and experience gained at Karachi fish Harbour under the guidance of Abdul Aziz Ashrafi.

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