ISLAMABAD: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Noor Alam Khan on Wednesday directed action against those involved in chaos and embezzlement in the National Highway Authority (NHA).
A PAC meeting reviewed audit paras of 2019-20 of the Ministry of Communications and National Highway Authority (NHA).
Addressing the rise in violations of rules, he said, “Motorway police is not as watchful as it used to be. There are numerous examples of bus drivers overspeeding and driving outside bus lanes.” He further endorsed NHA’s appeal for an increase in the salaries of highway police.
The committee was informed that some financial irregularities were observed in the N-50 Zhob Mughal Koat-Khali Khudainazar Road upgradation project. The NHA chairman apprised the committee that the contractor had misused the project funds due to a lack of interest and planning of the engineer concerned.
The PAC observed that the NHA had given undue favours to the contractor in the project and directed the relevant authority to recover the looted amount from him. The committee also took notice of the dilapidated condition of the Sialkot and Peshawar motorways and directed the Ministry of Communications to conduct an inquiry into the matter.
In response to Mr Alam’s concern, Inspector General NHA and Motorway Police Sultan Ali Khowaja defended his department, saying that motorway police were as ‘vigilant’ as ever but vowed stricter action on the committee’s suggestion.
He further added: “However, the meagre salaries of our staff are a serious concern. Motorway police are the lowest paid compared with all the provinces. In fact, deductions have been made.”
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2023
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