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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works, Wednesday, has asked the Ministry of Housing and Works to provide the detailed record of the allotment of a residential plot in Islamabad to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sher Afzal Marwat in the next meeting.

The committee meeting held here under the chairmanship of Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan while discussing the appointment of Sher Afzal Marwat as the Director General of the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA), asked the federal secretary housing and works under which law plot was allocated to the PTI leader.

The ministry officials while briefing the panel on the subject said there are no corruption allegations against Marwat. Moreover, no case has been recorded against Sher Afzal Marwat by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and he has received the plot in the federal capital as per the policy of FGEHA for its employees.

Senator Saifullah Abro expressed displeasure and recommended that, in the next meeting, the people responsible for Sher Afzal Marwat’s appointment must be summoned as under which law he was appointed.

The committee members deliberated on the question highlighted by Senator Dost Muhammad Khan during the Senate session on November 10, 2023, regarding the poor condition of the government housing colony situated in Sector G-8 of the federal capital.

Senator Khan expressed his concerns regarding the deplorable condition of government accommodations, pointing out that poor people were not being facilitated appropriately. He alleged the senior officials of the Ministry of Housing and Works for the utilisation and allocation of more funds for the residents of the senior officials.

The chairman committee asked the officers to provide details of the Rs40 million allocated by the government for the maintenance of government residential colonies.

The officials of the Ministry of Housing explained that they had worked in various areas, including water supply and sewerage services in I-9, G-9, and G-10. However, they emphasised that Rs40 million was not sufficient, and they had requested Rs716 million for further allocations from the government.

The chairman committee also enquired about the utilisation of the Rs100 million mentioned in the brief. The secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Works further added that the residential areas were 50 to 60 years old, and Rs100 million were not sufficient for their maintenance.

Senator Dost Muhammad Khan requested that the committee would recommend the issuance of more funds for the maintenance of the federal government houses.

Additionally, officers from the Ministry of Housing and Works provided a comprehensive briefing on the progress of Park Road (Package-I). Senator Saifullah Abro raised concerns regarding rate analysis, detailed information, and the modus operandi of contracts. He suggested that officers might be involved in significant unchecked irregularities and recommended putting payments on hold until these issues are resolved.

Senator AfnanUllah Khan also stated that the committee members have not reached a productive conclusion regarding this project.

Briefing the panel, the ministry officials said the Capital Development Authority awarded a Rs1.9 billion contract for the expansion of Park Road to the National Logistics Cell under clause 42(f) of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, which allows bidding among government agencies only.

The work on the project was started in April 2023 and it was supposed to be completed within six months as per its PC-1.

The 7.4km-long road had been facing traffic congestion; over the past two decades, residential areas and educational institutions along the road had mushroomed.

Several old residential areas, such as Lakhwal, Banigala, Rawal Town, Shahzad Town, Tramri, and Chatta Bakhtawar are fully reliant on this road as well as the new enclaves set up by the CDA i.e. Park Enclave I, II, and III.

At present, the road has two lanes, both in dilapidated condition. In order to make the road better for traffic, the CDA had decided to add one extra lane on each side to make it a three-lane artery and repair the existing lanes.

The committee members, unanimously, recommended that the Ministry of Housing and Works officers would present working and effective solutions for underlying projects in the next meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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