Standing Committee on Communications held at Parliament House

Islamabad, March 12, 2019 (PPI-OT): The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Communications was held on Tuesday. Chaired by Senator Hidayat Ullah, the meeting was attended by Senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Behramand Khan Tangi, Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, Senator Ahmed Khan, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, and senior officers from the Ministry of Communications along with all concerned.

The agenda of the meeting entailed of briefings on emergency and maintenance work conducted by NHA, completed PSDP schemes, compensation paid to affectees of Mansehra and Abbotabad on CPEC roads and schedule of payments. Repairing of National Highway and difficulties faced by sectors H and I residents Islamabad regarding access points from Kashmir Highway were discussed as well.

The meeting commenced with a briefing on maintenance and emergency works conducted by NHA. The matter was deferred due to lack of details on various projects undertaken by the Department. Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar demanded more information regarding projects being pursued in Balochistan, he said for any progress to take place in this regard it was imperative that the Committee be furnished with more details. Senator Fida Muhammad was of the view that the Ministry was resorting to delaying tactics and that a sub-Committee must be formed to review the matter in detail. Chairman Committee, Senator Hidayat Ullah deferred the matter due to lack of details and directed the Ministry to ensure that all details are presented to the Committee in the next meeting. He said that after this, it would be decided whether or not a sub-Committee to review the matter in detail will be formed.

The briefing on PSDP schemes was deferred as well due to absence of officers from the Planning and Finance Division. The Committee showed grave displeasure regarding the lax attitude of the Department.

While deliberating over the issue of payment of compensation to affectees of Mansehra and Abbotabad in relation to the construction of roads for CPEC, the Committee was informed that payments in all mauzas are underway and would be completed as soon as possible. Currently, the Committee was informed that out of 23 mauzas in Abbotabad 19 have been awarded. Disbursement of PKR 3684 million has already been made. In Mansehra 1600 million has been demanded for 34 Mauzas. The Committee was informed that the process is expected to be completed by May, 2019.

Regarding briefing by NHA in relation to repairing of the road from Allahwala Chowk to Anwar White Cement Kotri, the Committee was informed that this work was approved by the NHA Executive Board on 24 January, 2019 and will likely begin in May 2019.

While discussing difficulties being faced by residents of H and I Sectors regarding access point from Kashmir Highway, the Committee was informed that a detailed design and PC1 is being prepared and that Frontier Works Organization is being taken on board as well.

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