Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms in its meeting on Tuesday was told that 2 packages of the Project of Metro Bus Project Service Peshawar Morr-New International Islamabad Airport are complete and work on the remaining two is in progress and tentatively the project will be completed by March 2020. This was discussed as response to Committee’s earlier direction that the project be given top priority and additional amount be re-appropriated from other slow moving projects to this project.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani here at the Parliament House and was attended among others by Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Mir Kabeer Shahi, Senator Sassui Palijo, Secretary Planning, Chairman NHA, Chairman PEC, Member Planning Commission, Additional Secretary Irrigation Sindh and officers from government departments.
While discussing the year wise toll rates of M-1 and M-2, the Committee was told that toll rates have been increased proportionately in accordance with the terms of contract and the average number of vehicles that uses the motorway. Rates of M-1 (ISB-PESH) from 2005 to 2021 have gone from 80 to 240 for cars, 100 to 400 for wagons, mini bus 140 to 550 for minibus and 210 to 790 for buses. Rates of M-2 (ISB-LHR) from 1997 to 2020 have gone from 200 to 750 for cars, 300 to 1250 for wagons, 300 to 1760 for minibus and 450 to 2510 for buses. The Committee was told that 92 billion is required annually to renovate roads and maintain them for excellent use by NHA.
While briefing the committee regarding land acquisition method and payment Secretary Planning told the Committee that Punjab will take the lead and propose an amendment which will then be followed by federal and other provincial governments.
The Committee also heard Pakistan Engineering Council on how a mechanism can be devised for effective and efficient preparation of projects at all stages and providing technical assistance to the ministry of planning on project evaluation so as to avoid time delays and cost overrun. The Committee directed the ministry, PEC and all other relevant stakeholders to sit together and formulate a work plan.
Regarding RBOD-II Mega Project (Extension RBOD from Sehwan to Sea) Additional Secretary Technical Sindh Irrigation Department gave briefing on the project, change in alignment and causes of delays. For this project 54.99 billion was to be paid by federal government and 7 billion by Sindh government. The project was said to have physical progress of 73 % and financial progress of 64%. The Committee observed that the project was a misconceived one and there were problems at every stage where for a 270 kilometres alignment around 200 different contractors were involved. The Committee directed that the government should get rid of all contractors who haven’t done required work or have delayed it and to do payment to those contractors who have completed their work on ground. The third party evaluation of on-ground work was told to be completed by 28 days after the complete documents are received.