Event Title: Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai Presides over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Communications at Parliament House
Event Date: 2023-09-19
The Senate Standing Committee on Communications on Monday made important recommendations regarding the projects ( Sailkot-Khariyan Motorway Projects , Pindi –Khariyan Motorway Project ) being executed under PPPA ( Public Private Partnership Authority). The Committee under the Chairmanship of Senator Prince Umer Ahmedzai met today at the Parliament House and discussed at length the Projects under the PPPA.
Regarding the Sialkot-Kharian Motorway Project the Caretaker Minister Shahid Tarar said that the project is completed by 50 pc and the structure of the Project is also complete. The committee raised question as to how come the construction agreement was made without the Financial Close of the Project. The committee observed that the statement of the minister is in contradiction to the information on the brief which says that overall Physical progress is approximately 8.35 pc. The committee also noted that the brief provided by the Ministry was incomplete and missed important facts of the project. The committee chair lamented that a 43.382 bl rps project is being executed outside of legal requisites. However the stance of the Ministry was that since the Project is in the custody of State Institutes therefore maintains trust level leading to execution of work on the project, the officials said that the Government is benefited the most under PPPA projects without zero investment and the PPP are risking their own money in the execution along with the maintenance cost. It was also briefed that the PPP will become partner by 43 pc in the near future and the country will get a benefit of more than 210 Bl. The committee was apprised that the bid cost of the 69 km project length was 27.326 bl with an upfront VGF by GoP/NHA amounting to Rs 4.00 bl. It was further apprised that the PPP agreement signed between NHA 7 Concessionaire M/s SKIM on 13th September , 2021 and the construction activities at site has been started in October 2022 with a construction period of 24 months. On asking by the committee on the impediments of the project it was apprised that as per Hydraulic Model Study, the location of Bridge at Chenab River has been revised causing change in alignment of the Project for 35 km length and acquisition of lands for revised alignment is in progress. The committee chair inquired on the misalignment of project to which the ministry failed to give a concrete answer .
The committee dissatisfied with the argument of the Ministry, expressed reservation on the incomplete statistic submitted by the ministry and execution of construction work without the financial close, deferred the matter for further deliberation and brief.
Similarly the committee showed dissatisfaction on the process of Pindi –Khariayn Motorway Project under the PPPA, the committee raised serious objection on the cancellation of the LOI (letter of Intent). “How come the NHA withdrew letter of Intent once issued that too all of sudden after 8 months without rationale, causing a loss of 1 bl and more to the nation he added. The NHA argued that the Bidder failed to fulfil LOI requirements and the NHA constantly pursed the Bidder through series of meeting and letter to attend the observation of NHA to re affirm the role of Bidders Association Partner Ms POWER CHINA Chengdu Engineering Corporation Limited as Lead EPC constructors, failing to which the LOI was cancelled. It was apprised that as of now the project before re-tendering under the Public Private Partnership , the transaction structure and the cost estimate of the Project will be revised as per prevailing market condition and NHA’s CSR and obtain approval afresh from concerned competent forums.
The committee maintained reservation on the issuing of the (LOI) at the first place without probing into the bidders work capacity and later cancelled the same without plausible reason. The committee sought details of the correspondence exchanged with the bidder on the same
The committee decided to give chance of open hearing to the companies on their view point on the decision of cancellation of letter. The committee observed some discrepancies while executing projects under the PPPA authority and decided to take agendas separately and have due deliberation on the same.
The Committee while taking up the calling attention notice raised by Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem questioned regarding the sub-standard material used on the construction of Kech-Harnai Road (107.2) and Harnai Sajavi Road (55.1 km). The NHA authorities said that this project was not an NHA project however on the provincial wish NHA was given the rehabilitation of the existing road. Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem said that trucks of 40 tons pass on the road because of which the road is embedded; she added that the road is constructed on 18 foot although it was to be constructed on 24 foot. The NHA authorities apprised that the scope of the work was improvement of exiting road, however due to effects of rainfall and flood the original scope of work has been changed and a supervisory consultant has conducted fresh hydrology study and revised the design and BOQ, it was also apprised that increase in PC-1 cost by rs 7,579,749 also occurred due to additional drainage structure because of floods of 2022. It was also informed that the 10 pc work is done at sub way level. The committee also discussed the security issues of the region which has discouraged contractors to take work from within that area.
The committee also discussed the non-implementation of Axle load which leads to loss of approx. 35000 lives and loss of funds on repair of roads per year. It was presented that if Axle load regulations are implemented approx. 4 bl $ on road infrastructure will be saved and boost transport industry. It was proposed that implementation should be monitored at loading points of all the industry units. It was debated that Axle Load is a combined effort of the carriers and law enforcing agencies and not only the mandate of the NHA. The committee decided to hold further meetings with the provinces and experts to deliberate on the matter.
The committee was also apprised on the reconstruction on Pinjara Bridge on N 65. It was apprised that an amount of 27.33 ml has been incurred on emergency woks at Pinjara Bridge N 65. It was informed that the NHA has completed work on construction of cause way at Pinjara Bridge at Rs 97 million and assured the committee that the project will be completed by 15 January 2024.
The meeting was attended by Senator Shamim Afridi, Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim, Senator Umer Farooq, Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, and Senator Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. Minister of Communications Mr Shahid Ashraf Tarar, and Senior officials of the Ministry NHA and other attached departments were also in attendance