ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Communication on Tuesday called for steps to stop tuck shops and restaurants in the service areas of the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway from overcharging commuters.

Presided over by Senator Hidayatullah, the Senate committee also expressed concern over sale of substandard items there. Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi said that it is inhuman act to sell an item for Rs900 against its original price of Rs200.

An official of the National Highway Authority (NHA) told the meeting that in response to a number of complaints the authority had also imposed a fine on profiteers.

However, the committee was told that deputy commissioner concerned was supposed to issue rate list and ensure its implementation.

Meanwhile, the committee also took up the issue of shortage of washrooms in Rashakai service area.

NHA officials told the committee that contract of the current manager of washrooms was going to expire in June this year. The new contractor will be assigned the task to construct more washrooms in the service area.

Earlier, the committee members raised the issue that in absence of service areas on Multan-Sukkur Motorway, travelers had to face difficulty.

NHA officials told the committee that contracts had been awarded for setting up three petrol pumps and six service areas on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway.

The committee also took up the issue of regularisation of 58 employees of consultant.

The NHA’s Executive Board had rejected their cases for regularisation as there was no provision to regularise employees of consultant or contractor.

However, Senator Yousaf Badini said that their cases should be considered as they are now overage.

The committee appreciated the NHA for removing snow from roads of Balochistan to provide timely relief to people. Senators Ahmed Khan, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Agha Shahzaib Durrani, retired Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi and others attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2020