The report of the sub-Committee on the Senate Standing Committee on Communications regarding payment to land owners whose land was acquired for construction of the road from Kaghan to Babusar Top 17 years ago was submitted to the Committee in its meeting on Monday. The recommendations were adopted unanimously.
While discussing on-going that were commenced during the past five years the Committee objected to cost escalation of projects and raised concerns regarding those responsible and demanded a break-up of all expenditure to review the issue in detail. Secretary Ministry of Communications, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui was of the view that design and supervisor constants must be the same to see projects to fruition. He said that issues of token allocation were a major impediment in project completion as well.
While discussing the updated position of the Malakand Tunnel Project and the present position of NA-45, the Committee was informed that the Korean Exim Bank agreed in principal for provision of additional funding for the twin tube tunnel and work will commence only after a confirmation from them. The detailed design of the project has been completed and construction will require a total of 42 months.
Deliberating over the proposed PSDP for 2019-2020, the Committee appreciated the Ministry’s effort for allocating a major share, as recommended by the Committee, to Balochistan.
Taking up the case of non-payment of dues in favour of Sarwar Construction (Pvt) Ltd, since December 2012 on account of dualization of Takht Bhai Dargai Road Package (NA-45), the Committee was informed that payment had been submitted to the accounts section NHA Peshawar on 10 May, 2019 for scrutiny prior to the approval of Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Mr. Jawad Rafique Malik. Chairman Committee, Senator Hidayat Ullah gave directives to come up with a deadline, so that this matter may be resolved at the earliest. He further stated that without a competent system in place, good governance cannot be achieved. He stressed the need for the Ministry to revisit its work processed, so that pending issues may be expedited.
While reviewing recommendation status of previous meetings the Committee was informed that display boards have been removed from toll plazas of M-9 motorway. Instructions have also been conveyed to toll plaza staff to behave courteously. Refresher courses will also be held to keep them abreast of important aspects of their work and to keep them motivated.
Senator Behramand Tangi showed displeasure regarding cutting of fences at different places at the M-1 motorway. He said that to-date despite Motorway Police claims, no action has been taken. This, he said, was contributing to 25 percent of accidents on this route, which is cause of alarm. It was recommended that Senator Tangi tour the route with IG Motorway Police, to highlight specific areas of non-compliance.
Chaired by Senator Hidayat Ullah, the meeting was attended by Senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Senator Dr. Jehanzed Jamaldini, Senator Behramand Khan Tangi, Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, Senator Ahmed Khan, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah and senior officers from the Ministry of Communications along with all concerned.