FWO can’t check commuters CNICs: Senate panel

Expresses concern over ‘improper’ behaviour of ‘contractor’ towards common people

​ Our Correspondent October 17, 2019
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Thursday said the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) officials could not ask commuters to show their identity cards and described this practice as being ‘unacceptable’.

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Communication, chaired by Senator Hidayat Ullah, also noted that behaviour of the FWO officials with people was also improper.

“The FWO is a contractor. How could a contractor stop commuters and check their identity cards? The FWO is not empowered to do this,” the committee chairman noted.

The committee also expressed concern over an incident at a toll plaza in Karachi where the FWO officials allegedly opened fire on drivers during an altercation, killing at least three people. Bahramand Tangi, a member of the committee, said checking of ID cards by a contractor is a violation of human rights.

The meeting was attended by Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Syed Sabir Shah, Salahuddin Tirmizi, Bahramand Tangi, Islamuddin Shaikh, Gianchand, Mir Yousaf Badini, Moula Bux Chandio, Secretary Communication Jawwad Rafique, NHA Chairman Sikander Qayyum, and other concerned officials.

The committee also directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) to resolve pending issues of the public residing along the national highways and motorways. The committee also recommended that the issues including the payments of land allocation on Kaghan-Babusar Pass, awaiting completion of section IV of M-8 and construction of flyover and U-Turn on M-9 should be resolved on urgent basis.

Secretary communication briefed the committee members that the width of land provided for the establishment of M-2 section from Islamabad to Lahore was wider than M-9 section established from Karachi to Hyderabad.

NHA chairman said none of the highway could be changed into the motorway, adding M-9 was a superhighway but it was changed into motorway under the policy of previous government.

Maula Bux Chandio while criticising the M-9 project said rickshaws and motorcycles were seen on the road. It was not as per standard of the motorway, he added. Secretary communication replied that this chapter has been closed for future as no highway would be converted into motorway in future.

The committee recommended that the issues being faced by general public on M-9 section should be resolved. To a question, the NHA chairman said completed projects of motorways would be opened with the mutual understanding of China as the projects are launched under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said Hazara Motorway is expected to be opened by the end of this month as the work is near its completion. Senator Salahuddin raised the land issue of the people living on Kaghan-Babusar Pass road, saying their payments had been pending for last 17 years.

He made a symbolic walkout along other senators to register his protest against NHA for not paying attention to this long-standing issue. The chairman directed the NHA and secretary communication to inform the Senate body about the factual situation regarding the said issue in next meeting.

The body was also informed that M-8 section-IV from Gwadar to Ratodero was not yet completed due to lack of funding and negligence. The committee chairman said no contractor should be provided next project until he does not complete previous ones.

He said the contractors working on this section should be banned for his negligence. The NHA chairman assured to take action against the concerned person.

WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP

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