Islamabad, 22nd February, 2022: A meeting of the Senate Standing on Communications was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai here at Parliament House on Tuesday.
At the outset, Secretary for Ministry of Communications Zafar Hassan briefed the Committee regarding the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the year 2022-23. The total of 91 projects is going on right now which includes 18 substantially completed projects,31 on-going schemes,9 new schemes,28 proposed new schemes,5 Public private partnership (PPP) projects and the estimated cost of these projects is 2,476,081.62 rupees, he added. The average amount that the Ministry receives every year is around 100 Billion rupees and Ministry spends 70 to 80 p.c. of that amount on on-going projects and 20 p.c. on new projects, he further added. The Chairman Committee directed the Secretary to complete these projects rapidly and avoid the country from loses that occurred in the shape of escalation price owing to delay in completion of projects.
While discussing the point of Public Importance regarding E-tag vehicles raised by Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, IG Motorway Police Inam Ghani ensured the Committee that Motorway Police is taking strict action for the enforcement of E-tag SOPs and also fined 3 thousands vehicles for violation of lane.Inam Ghani informed the Committee that the weight of traffic was enormous near Ravi Toll Plaza and Kala Shah Kaku and it was Lahore High Court Directive to reduce the weight of traffic in these areas and that’s why NHA started E-Tag facility. Around 3.5 lakh people availed the E-tag facility and to make this facility more efficient, National Highways Authority (NHA) has been planning to increase the number of booth at each M-2 motorway toll Plaza and also intending to provide this E-tag facility at Excise and Taxation Offices, he added.NHA has started online payment for E-tag and convincing public to follow SOPs in this regard,he further added.
Furthermore, Committee also discussed the cost of construction of per kilometer road with comparison between previous and present government. Secretary of Communications told the Committee that, in 2013-2018 the cost of one kilometer road of 2-Lane Highway was 118.171 Million rupees and cost of same in 2018 to date is 11.385 Million rupees. Chairman Committee was of view that this cost is tender cost and price of project can be increased in case of postponement of project. The Chairman Committee also directed the Ministry to submitted detailed report of cost comparison before Committee in the next meeting.
Regarding promotion status of DSP’s ,SPO’s and PO’s appointed in 1ST Batch of 2001.IG Motorway Police apprised the Committee that ,as of right now, only the promotion of DSP’s to SPO’s has been pending and which will be decided by Board in its 28 February meeting. Chairman Committee Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai asserted that there should be continuous meeting of Board instead of holdings two or three meetings in a year, so that no one remains deprived of his/her right.
The meeting was attended by Senator Kamil Ali Agha,Senator Danesh Kumar,Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar,Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem,Senator Saifullah Abro,Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Umer Farooq,Senator Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri,Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim,Senator Ahmed Khan, Secretary for Ministry of Communication,Inspector General NHA Motorway Police and other senior officers of NHA.