The liabilities of the National Highway Authority (NHA) to its contractors surged to as much as Rs26 billion because of the slow pace of release of funds by the federal government, an NHA official told a National Assembly committee on Wednesday.
The official was among those who appeared before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Communications which met here under Saeed Ahmad Zafar.
While briefing the committee on the National Trade Corridor (NTC) roads, the NHA chairman said that the absence of timely fund releases was the biggest hurdle in the way of accelerating the pace of work on major projects. Other officials said that NHA’s outstanding liabilities towards its contractors were soaring, as they cited Sindh’s case, where NHA owed almost Rs3.5billion to contractors working on various projects. The officials claimed that Rs247 billion were required for the completion of various road projects under NTC expressways.
When the committee criticised the authority for slow pace of work on roads linking Gwadar port to other parts of the country, besides the unusually slow work on the Hyderabad-Karachi Motorway and the Lyari Expressway, NHA officials said: “Expressions of Interest” (EOIs) were sought and seven firms submitted EOI’s in this regard.
They added that all of these entities met pre-requisites and criteria set by the NHA, to implement the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway on ‘build operate transfer” (BOT) basis.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.
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