NATO containers causes $1500m loss to road infrastructure, NA told


The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that overloaded NATO containers had caused an estimated loss of $1500 millions to road infrastructure.
The lower house of the parliament was further told that the Ministry of Communications had submitted a proposal for the recovery of the losses to Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs.
However, members mainly from opposition benches remained unsatisfied over the replies submitted by the Minister of State for Communications Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari.
Mazari while responding to questions asked by MNAs said that National Highway Authority (NHA) network connected Pakistan to Afghanistan via three routes having total length of 4040 km.
He said that toll rates implemented on NHA network were charged on vehicles plying roads connecting Afghanistan and toll tax was charged on NATO vehicles as per then toll rates prevailing prior to September 1, 2011.
He observed that NHA network connecting Karachi Port to Afghanistan had been deteriorated considerably due to frequent use by overloaded vehicles of NATO/ ISAF/ American transit freight over the years.
“The estimated rehabilitation cost is $ 1500 millions” he added saying that the issue had been highlighted at various forums including Standing Committee of the Parliament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence.
Moreover, he said that a proposal regarding recovery of estimated claims of damages and levy of tax as infrastructure usage charges had been submitted to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.
However, Mazari failed in replying to majority of queries pertaining to completion of development projects at different roads and highways in Sindh and Balochistan on the ground that he was newly appointed as minister and even had not been briefed by ministry officials properly.