The meeting of the Senate House Committee was held on Tuesday at the Parliament Lodges. Chaired by Deputy Chairman Senate, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla; the meeting was attended by Senator Samina Saeed, Senator Sardar Shafiq Tareen, Senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Senator Kulsoom Parveen, Senator Kauda Babar and senior officers from CDA and CADD.
The meeting commenced with a review of the minutes of the meetings that were held on 8th August and 5th September, 2018. The Chairman Committee, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla went through each recommendation seeking its implementation status.
The Committee had directed CDA for immediate removal of rubble from the premises of Parliament Lodges and its disposal as per rules/policy and submission of a comprehensive report by 10th September, 2018. The Committee was informed that shifting of scrap material to MPO yard has begun and is due to be completed within 4 days. It was further revealed that scrap material shall be disposed off through auction.
The Chairman Committee, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla inquired about the status of the Construction of the additional block. The Chairman CDA, Afzal Lateef briefed the Committee about the status of the state of cleanliness at the lodges and the status of recruitment of Janitorial services on contract. The Committee was informed that the Janitorial contract is yet to be awarded and as directed approval shall be sought before award.
The Committee had directed Secretary CADD to ensure availability of ambulance both in Parliament House and Parliament Lodges and submit a compliance report to the Committee by 10th September. The Chairman Committee Senator Saleem Mandviwalla concluded that the issue would have to be discussed with National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Division as the subject matter stands devolved in view of the recent notification by the Cabinet Division pertaining to the winding up of CADD and accordingly directed that the concerned Division be summoned in the next meeting.
The Chairman Committee, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla reviewed violation of PPRA rules while formulating contracts with the government. Senator Kulsoom Parveen was of the view that in order to facilitate the process, PPRA rules may be revised after taking CDA on board.
In his recommendation in the last two meetings the Chairman Committee Senator Saleem Mandviwalla had directed CDA to evaluate the two options shared by NESPAK and take a clear position and brief the Committee by 13th September, 2018. The Committee was informed that CDA is in the process of evaluating all options to resolve the issues in consultation with the CDA legal wing and the contractor for an early completion of the project.
While discussing the maintenance of Parliament Lodges and approved utilization work plan for the year 2018-19, the Chairman Committee, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla showed concern regarding delay of payments for projects and stated that it was sad to see schemes being stalled due to delay in disbursing funds. He also criticised the system for awarding projects to the lowest bidder, saying that it is extremely disastrous as quality of work is more often than not compromised.
Reviewing the present litigation status between the contractor M/s Habib Rafiq (Pvt) Limited and CDA with regards to the construction of additional block, Parliament Lodges along with its possible legal implications and way out. It was submitted to the Committee that the tribunal awarded the claimant an amount of PKR 613,177,979 on account of the claims made by it. The Committee was informed that CDA has already challenged the said award in the Civil. The Chairman CDA stressed the need for separating arbitration from projects for steady progress by entering into a meaningful dialogue with the contractor so as to reach an amicable solution.
In view of the longstanding demand by resident members inside the Parliament Lodges the Chairman CDA was directed to look into the possibility of a makeshift arrangement owing to the eviction operation carried out by the CDA as a result of which the existing shops had been closed down, thus depriving residents from procuring day to day essentials on the premises.