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Event Title: Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai Presides over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Communications at Parliament House.

Event Date: 2023-03-13

The Senate Committee on Communications on Monday took a detailed report on the tragic road accident occurred in Bela, Distt. Lasbela which took lives of 41 people.The DIG  operations NHMP briefed the committee that the National Highway & Motorway Police is not deployed on this location. The accident occurred 21km away from the operational area of NHMP, however the NHMP carried out a rescue operation on the site. The DIG operation apprised that 99 pc accidents are caused due to over speeding, intoxication, vehicle fitness and overloading. He said vehicle fitness is not the mandate of the NHMP, however 855 vehicles were given challan last year. He also said that 380 km areas is non -operational highly contributing to accidents. Senator Kamil Ali Agha while lamenting the negligence of the enforcement bodies which has never been addressed effectively said that one main cause is smuggled Petrol from these areas in over loaded trucks which has no check and balance and the accidents caused by it are devastating he said. The committee urged the ministry as well as the NHMP to play its role in collaboration and efficiently in order to curb road accidents destroying thousands of families. It was also recommended to stricken the challan criteria over 2nd hand driver and disallow drivers under influence of drugs to drive. The Chairman Committee also sought list of accidents on every beat of the area of Lesbela. The Secretary Ministry ensured the committee that he would personally speak of the Chief Secretary to take concrete measures in accordance with all stake holders and law enforcing bodies in order to control accidents in the area.

The Senate Standing Committee on Communications  which met under the Chairmanship of Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai here at the Parliament House discussed various important projects of public interest and projects pertaining to province of Balochistan

At the outset of the meeting the committee showed displeasure on the absence of the Minister, the committee remarked that public representation is incomplete without the Minister and at least he should show presence once and make himself aware and informed of the work and concerns discussed in the Senate Committee meetings. Senator Danesh Kumar recorded his displeasure on the absence of Minister and intended to walk out in resentment,however the Chairman Committee said that he will ensure that the Minister will show presence in the next meeting.

The committee took first the matter of irregularities in the award of contracts under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) raised by Senator Saifullah Abro. While discussing the Project of construction of Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway Project, the committee was briefed that the project is at pre mature stage. 03 no. of bids are received including FWO, ZKB -SMC- SMADB and TECHNO- MATRACON, out of which the later is at first ranking in terms of financial proposal. Briefing on the Contracts of Toll Tax Stations under NHA was missing. The committee observed that the delay on the briefing seems to be a delaying tactics to hide the facts of subject matter. The committee recommended to submit briefing at earliest and not to accept any further delays.

Senator Danesh Kumar inquired from the Ministry the criteria on which projects are taken up. It was informed that as per the policy of the Government the projects near completion are prioritised first and it is in the hands of the National Assembly and Senate to pass the projects for PSDP. The Secretary Ministry of Communications said that we have no power on the allocation of projects. The Chairman Committee sought the list of projects which are being prioritised to be submitted to the committee.

The Chairman Committee while taking briefing on the National Highway (N -25 ) Karachi- Quetta - Chaman project and said that it is a very crucial project from several point of views including road accidents. He said that it is also very important project from trade point of view and recommended that the project must be prioritised. The committee was briefed that considering its importance NHA has planned dualisation and Rehabilitation of entire N-25 (790 Kms) in different sections. The dualisation of Khuzdar-Kuchlak section of N-25 extending up to 330 km costing PC -1 million rps 81,582.219 out of which 2,643,43 million rps have been utilised. It was briefed that work on section -I 51 km Chamrok Chowk -Leeva Check Post and Section -II 51 km Jeeva Check Post Surab, has been started and completed by 4 pc. The Chairman Committee inquired on the slow progression on the work when 10 pc mobilisation advance was also allocated. The Chairman Committee said that we will write a letter to the Chairman Senate recommending to visit the site and receive an on ground presentation on the current status of the project and its repercussions.

The committee also took briefing by the DG Post services on the recruitment rules of the department and reasons for not issuing calls letters. The committee was briefed by the DG Pakistan Post Services on the recruitment strength and the Summary of Recruitment process. The  Chairman Committee inquired on the number of sanctioned post of every province to which it was informed that there are total 32,000 sanctioned post however the no of post depends on the Establishment of Post offices. The Chairman Committee said that we will convene a one agenda meeting on the subject matter, he inquired on the reason of not receiving call letters and observed that due to political pressures the recruitments are not being done as per procedure. He said that candidates from all the provinces should be given a fair chance of employment. The Chairman Committee also sought details of district wise post and deferred the matter for further discussion.

The meeting was attended by senators Shamim Afridi, Danesh Kumar, Hafiz Abdul Karim, Umer Farooq, Kamil Ali Agha and Senator Saifuallah Abro. Senior officials from the Ministry, the NHA and other concerned departments were also in attendance.