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Overlaying of M-2 to cost Rs.20 bln: Senate told PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, July 10 (APP): Minister for Communication Dr. Arbab Alamgir on Tuesday informed the Senate that five inch overlaying of Motorway M-2 would cost Rs.20 billion adding that it had already completed its life in 2007. Replying to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, he said that M-2 was very important project which was built in accordance with international standard. If, the M-2 was not overlaid, it would have to reconstruct it again, he added.  The minister said that the M-2 could not be overlaid due to paucity of funds. He said that Motorway had handed-over to Frontier Works Organization (FWO) about 12 years without any tender through Chief Executive Order and under the agreement medical facilities were being provided by FWO and National Highways and Motorway Police (NH & MP).

He said that now trauma centers were being set up along all the Motorways with the assistance of NH & MP. National Highway Authority (NHA) handed over 17 new fully equipped to NH &MP for operation to facilitate passengers. However, he said that these ambulances were not sufficient.
To another question, Arbab Alamgir said that currently around 1443 police officers of various ranks and 31 non-uniformed staff were serving in NH & MP on deputation basis from different police setups.
He said that the total motorway force consisted of 4486 uniformed and 1100 non-uniformed personnel and we have requested the Finance Ministry and Establishment Division to give permission for recruiting 6,000 new personnel.
He said that NH & MP have short of staff and could not properly look after the road network stretched over 12,500 kilometers.
In response to a supplementary question, the minister said that 50 per cent adhoc relief in salaries of government employees during fiscal year 2010-11 was not given to employees of motorway police adding that number of officials on deputation want to return their parent organizations.
The minister conceded that highway between Chakdara and Timargarah was in dilapidated condition. The NHA had awarded two contracts for routine maintenance at a cost of Rs. 17.2 million to keep the road n good trafficable condition, he added.  He said that one contract of emergency maintenance was also awarded at a cost of Rs.8.9 million.
The minister said that repair activities on Talash-Timargarah road had been completed and the section was no pothole free. Work on remaining section of the road was in progress and would be completed by July.
To another question, Arabab Alamgir said that the government had planned to rehabilitate/improve the road section from Fatehpur to Kalam under Emergency Rehabilitation Project (FERP) with an estimate cost of Rs.6,000 million. The section was part of the Global PC-1 for FERP for which an amount of Rs.6,450 million was allocated in PSDP 2012-13 and about 85 per cent of the project cost would be borne by the Asian Development Bank, he added.  Replying to a supplementary query, he said that M-9 was an important project and main artery which would contact the three ports with the rest of the country. An agreement was signed with a Malaysian company about six month ago for its construction. The project would cost Rs.25 billion and its financial close was due on July 15.
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