The sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Communications in its meeting on Friday at Parliament House reviewed details submitted to the Committee regarding collection of Toll Tax and maintenance of GT Road from Lahore to Islamabad and various issues pertaining to it. Information on Weigh Stations in Pakistan and revenue generated from it was also discussed.
Convened by Senator Fida Muhammad, the meeting was attended by Senator Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh and senior officers of the Ministry Communication and the NHA along with all concerned.
Convenor Committee, Senator Fida Muhammad was of the view that the Committee, along with the Ministry must strive to provide relief to the people of Pakistan. He stressed the need for transparency and said that it was important that all efforts lead to the truth. Fixing responsibility was important so that justice is restored, he added. Members of the Committee endorsed his views.
Discussing details of Weigh Stations, the Committee was informed that there are a total of 161 weigh stations all over Pakistan on the National Highway. Convener Committee, Senator Fida Muhammad enquired about the Weigh Stations on the Islamabad Peshawar route. He was informed that the Weigh Station in Islamabad was demolished due to construction of the Metro. However, in Peshawar it was not operational. The Committee was informed that strict measures were being taken to ensure that transporters follow regulations. In 2018, it was officially notified that vehicles must not be overloaded. Vehicle tampering is a major issue faced by the NHA. The need for incentives to transporters was stressed.
Convener Committee, Senator Fida Muhammad took notice of depression on highways and roads due to overloading. He stressed the need to fix responsibility and regulate contractors. The Committee was assured that the issue will be investigated. Deliberating over details of revenue collected from toll Plazas on National Highways and Motorways and maintenance of GT Road between Lahore and Islamabad, the Committee while reviewing details directed NHA to submit details of the last two years. The Committee was informed that since Toll Tax was used for maintenance of roads and highways, aversion in some areas to it was a major impediment. The Committee stressed the need for legislation on this.