ISLAMABAD – National Highway Authority (NHA) on Tuesday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the NATO supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan has damaged the road infrastructure worth Rs 100 billion in the country during last 10 years.
They further informed the PAC that Pakistan has not received anything in this regard from NATO containers during last 10 years but now the Ministry of Communications had proposed levying charges from NATO trucks and containers passing through Pakistan to Afghanistan in future.
Meanwhile, the PAC also summoned Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Logistics Cell (NLC) for illegally occupying 38 toll plazas of National Highway Authority (NHA) even after expiry of contracts.
PAC under the Chairmanship of Nadeem Afzal Chan directed NHA either to pay Rs 3.8 billion to Motorway Police or settle the issue within three months.
Chairman Public Accounts Committee also discussed audit observation about Ministry of Communications for the audit years 2004-05 and 2006-07.
‘Both the national organisations FWO and NLC are of the viewpoint that they were collecting toll from plazas as an ‘imperative to State security’, Secretary Ministry of Communications Anwar Ahmad Khan told the PAC ,adding, that total receivables from FWO had accumulated to Rs 6.5 billion.
While responding to audit paras Secretary Communications Anwar Ahmad Khan and Chairman NHA Muhammad Ali Gardezi told PAC that litigation between two housing societies had been hurdle in making Kot Abdul Malik interchange functional on M-2 and now both parties have agreed and project would be made operational in two months. To observations about NHA’s disputes with Daewoo, FWO and NLC, both the officials were of the viewpoint that there was rift over time of commencement of service areas on M-2, and Daewoo had moved to International Court of Justice Singapore.
‘We have also moved to the court with forceful stand and court had allowed us to issue tenders of both the service areas at Bhera to enable us to charge the amount in case judgment is issued in our favour’, said Gardezi saying that similarly, FWO occupying 38 toll plazas on different highways even expiry of contracts and total receivable amount of Rs 6.5 billion had accumulated with FWO.
He further said that M-2 had completed its life and it required to be overlaid and Rs 35 billion were required for the project.
Inspector General Motorway Police told PAC that Motorway Police had no headquarters of its own land and all the offices had been set up in rented buildings.
He said that NHA had to pay Rs 3.8 billion to Motorway Police which NHA Chairman refused paying saying that his organisation could not pay such a big amount.
PAC directed both the NHA either to pay payable amount or settle the issue in next three months.
To a question, Chairman NHA told PAC that unavailability of funds and worst security situation had hindered the construction of Rato Dero-Gwadar highway, however, now provincial government of Balochistan had promised to provide funds on the condition that they would not be used outside the province.
PAC was further told that Sindh High Court had acquitted all the accused in Sher Shah Bridge collapse after payment of compensation money to the victim families. PAC sought details of contractors who were also members of Board of Governors of NESPAK.
Later, talking to media regarding reference against Mian Nawaz Sharif being send to Committee by Interior Minister Rehman Malik , Chairman PAC said that he has received some letters from Interior Minister ,however, he has not yet studied these letters.