LAHORE The Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued a notice seeking reply from the National Highways Authoritys chairman and the Evolves Company regarding doling out advertising and promotional contracts at low rate. The action was taken on a petition, filed by Muhammad Imran Chohan, alleging that the NHA received kickbacks and committed corruption in the award of highway advertising contracts. The petitioner had submitted that in 2005 the NHA gave a contract to the Evolves Company for a period of 5 years at Rs 1.3 million per annum for using Lahore to Sahiwal Motorway (M-5) for the advertising purpose. It further alleged that it was much low a price for any such contract. The petitioner also stated that in 2006, the NHA while committing mishandling and corruption, gave additional advertising rights to the said company to use Lahore to Kalashah Kako Motorway (M-2) without charges any money for it. The court also learnt that as the contract for the M5 was, which was for 5 years, had expired in 2010 (starting from 2005), the NHA extended the same with the Evolves Company for the additional two years, without giving tenders for it. The petitioner also complained said at the top of every thing, the NHA instead of increasing the rates, gave special favour to the Evolves contractor by reducing the annual advertising rates from Rs 1.3 million per year to Rs 0.8 million per year (Rs 13 lakh to 8 lakh per year), It caused a huge loss to the State, the petition has stated. The NHA, it may be noted, can not extend any contract or reduce annual rates without issuing a tender for open competition.