ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Communication Murad Saeed on Tuesday said that several initiatives taken by the Ministry of Communications as part of the Prime Minister’s (PM) 100 days agenda have started paying dividends.
While addressing a press conference, the minister said that the National Highway Authority (NHA) has registered an increase of over 20 per cent in its revenue since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) government came to power through improved governance and innovative initiatives.
He said that overall NHA had successfully generated Rs3.08 billion during the first hundred days of the government.
He said that NHA’s anti-encroachment drive was also continuing successfully and over 354 kanals of land worth Rs1,596 million has been cleared after operations were carried out in 2,274 locations all over the country.
He said an austerity drive had also been launched in the ministry under the PM’s vision and Rs35 million have been saved in fuel and entertainment sectors.
Murad Saeed said that NHA had earned Rs200 million from the auction of 202 vehicles under the PM’s directive to get rid of unnecessary luxury cars that serve no purpose other than show, comfort and wastage of money.
He also announced that NHA would establish a rest area for the general public in its building on the bank of River Kunar in Naran. “This rest area was in the past used by NHA officers but now it will be open for general public,” he said.
He said that a mobile app of the NHA was launched recently for the public to be able to access to all relevant record and details of projects for ensuring transparency. Moreover, e-tendering and e-billing process has been initiated to ensure transparency in the department.
The minister said that he had written a letter to the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), asking him to conduct a special audit of five NHA projects. These projects include Lyari Expressway, Khuzdar-Shahdadkot Highway (M-8), Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Highway (M-8), Lowari Tunnel (N-45) Civil Works, and Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Highway (N-25).
Murad said that pursuant to the government’s policy, NHA had identified five projects worth Rs35o billion to be implemented through public-private partnership during the past 100 days. These projects include Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway, Karachi Northern Bypass, Sialkot-Kharian Motorway, Khrian Rawalpindi Motorway and Chakdara-Mingora section of Swat Motorway.
Moreover, he said that NHA had launched a campaign of plantation and 187,000 plants that were planted in 100 days under the PM’s clean and green Pakistan initiative. “NHA has also launched a drive for cleanliness of the highways and motorways and so far 4211 km length has been cleaned,” he said while adding that improvement and uplifting of toll plazas is also being done under the same initiative.
The minister told that NHA has launched procurement process of Geographic Information Systems which would become a powerful tool to efficiently manage and integrate information for planning, design, construction, analysis, operations and maintenance, asset management and revenue maximisation.
He concluded by telling about the measures taken for safe and better roadways. “Motorway Police has launched first ever National Road Safety Policy (NRSP) to control accidents on the highways and motorways. It has also arranged seminars, workshops and walks to create road safety awareness,” he said.
He said that Motorway Police would soon launch a smartphone application named Humsafar for the benefit of all road users.