Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2020
Published in Category: Islamabad

Cost of Malakand tunnel project swells to almost 23 times

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Islamabad: The cost of Malakand Tunnel project has reached to Rs 23.565 billion, whereas the initial estimated cost of the project was Rs. 9,043.325 million. ECNEC has revised its PC-I thrice

This was informed to the meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Communications that was held on Thursday under the Chairmanship of MNA Ibadullah Khan.

NHA informed the committee that original PC-1 of Malakand Tunnel with scope of Single Tube Tunnel amounting to was approved by ECNEC in 2011. The first revised PC-I with scope of two tube tunnel amounting to Rs.16,554 million was approved by ECNEC in 2017. The cost of the project has enhanced due to increase of dollar rate and the second revised PC-I cost is Rs. 23.565 billion.

The meeting discussed collection of receivables of NHA and year-wise collection of toll plazas and NHA Safety (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Member (Planning) NHA briefed the Committee about the implementation status of Committee’s recommendations. The Committee was informed about the PSDP 2018-19 and 2019-20. About Havalian-Thak project,NHA informed that M/s China Communication and Construction Company is working on the project, the activities are at full swing and the project will be completed on Feb 29, 2020. The Hyderabad-Sukker (M-6) project is included in PSDP 2019-20 as BOT Project,NHA is conducting feasibility study and preparatory work. The Committee recommended including KwazaKhela– Besham expressways in PSDP 2020-21.The Committee recommended constructing interchange for AbbotabadonHazaraMotorwaytofacilitate public and boost tourism.

The committee was informed that total receivables of NHA amounted to Rs. 15,042.58 out of which Rs.9960.146 was against FWO; Rs.4485.247 was against BOT Projects and Rs. 597.186 was against NDARA. Year wise toll collection has increased to Rs. 23,269.65 million in 2018-19 which was 13,991.37 million in 2013-14. The NHA informed that its average annual collection is Rs.30 billion against expenditure of Rs. 70 billion.

NHA, which is at present facing shortage of funds actually relies upon the release of finances from government. The committee directed the ministry of communication to submit, in next meeting, the physical and financial progress on Ayun – Bamburet Road and Chitral – Buni and Mastuj Road. The committee also recommended that like FWO and NLC all contractors in NHA projects may be allowed 10% rebate in tax by FBR for providing equal opportunity to all and promoting competition.

A earlier sub-Committee was dissolved due to expiry of thirty days, the Committee decided to constitute a sub-Committee under the convener-ship of Murtaza Javed Abbasi to complete its probe/examination of on-going projects, non-operational completed projects and projects for which allocation has been made but work not started