ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly Standing Committee on Communications on Tuesday postponed its meeting after brief proceedings due to absence of the National Highways Authority chairman.

The NA body observed that due to regular absence of the NHA chairman, the recommendations of the committee were not being complied with in letter and spirit.

The committee further observed that the chairman remained absent from a number of committee meetings, which was leading to delay in the implementation of the decisions.

The NA body declared that the committee was regularly being ignored by the NHA chairman and decided that it would not proceed any further.

The committee was informed that the affected people of Kayal Bridge at Karakoram Highway had not been paid amount of compensation since 2014.

Similarly, it was noticed that the previous recommendations of the committee about the payment to the affected people of Quba Saeed Khan, had also not been made so far.

However, only a few people have received the payments and rest of the people are waiting.

Moreover, the NHA did not pay the compensation amount to the affected people of Dir.

The committee was informed that report on action taken by the deputy director, NHA and the officials of Police Station Naurang, against the petrol pump of a former MNA, was not received by the committee.

The NA body recommended that the matter might be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The committee declared that the committee was regularly being ignored by the NHA chairman and ir would not proceed any further. After that the committee ended its meeting without further deliberations.

The meeting was presided over by the Standing Committee Chairman Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi and attended by Members National Assembly, Maiza Hameed, Nazir Ahmed Bughio, Ramesh Lal, Salim Rehman, Engr Hamidul Haq Khalil, Sanjay Parwani, Maulana Qamarud Din, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah, Naseema Hafeez Panezai, Engr Usman Khan Tarakai and Shahjehan Muneer Mangrio.

Moreover, secretary communications and several senior civil officers also attended the meeting.

NA BODY ANNOYED OVER DELAY IN PROJECT

Owing to non-completion of additional family suites in the Parliament Lodges, several parliamentarians could not be provided with official accommodations for the last four and half years.

This was revealed during a meeting of the NA Standing Committee on House and Library, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi.

Expressing displeasure over the inordinate delay in construction of 104 additional family suites and servant quarters at the Parliament Lodges, Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi said the project was started in May 2011 and supposed to be completed in 2013. However, he said, due to poor performance of the construction firm it could not be completed till to date.

He said that the House and Library Committee had extended all-out support to the company for early completion of the project and issued directions to CDA to remove if there was any hurdle in completion of the project.

The committee observed that the contractor had been provided sufficient opportunities for personal hearing but he always made lame excuses and misled the committee.

He further said that the contractor has made several commitments before the committee for timely completion of the project but he could not fulfill his commitment. He said that on the request of construction firm the committee extended time period for completion of project six times but the firm unilaterally terminated the contract without any reason.

Resultantly, the committee has unanimously recommended blacklisting of the firm for executing any project of National Assembly in future. However, the firm approached the court and got stay order against the committee’s decision.

The firm had been using delaying tactics for the last four years and whenever any action was taken it tried to hide behind the stay orders, he added.

He said that the firm had been provided several opportunities to clarify its position but it could not present any plausible reason to justify the delay.

He said that in the light of directions of High Court the Committee has given another a chance to MD of M/S Habib Rafique to appear before the committee in presence of CDA to clarify his position but he did not bother to appear before it to clarify his position.

The committee was of the view that the contractor did not want to complete this project intentionally and is using delaying tactics to gain time.