ISLAMABAD, Sept 20: The Senate Standing Committee on Communications expressed concerns on Thursday over the long delay in completion of road projects in Balochistan and sought an explanation from the National Highway Authority over the matter.

At its meeting held on Thursday, the committee asked NHA officials as to why not even a single contractor had been blacklisted despite their failure to complete the road projects even after more than a decade.

Explaining the NHA position on the matter, its chairman Muhammad Ali Gardezi said his organisation had no authority to blacklist any contractor and only the Pakistan Engineering Council had the power to do so.

Some members of the committee, including Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Kamil Ali Agha, accused NHA officials of being hand in glove with the contractors, adding that malpractices in the projects had taken place simply because the officials and contractors backed each other.

The NHA chairman assured the committee that all toll booths would now be auctioned in a transparent manner.

The committee directed the NHA chairman to present a report on overcharging by contractors in service areas and illegal construction.

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