ISLAMABAD: The award of a shuttle service contract in the Diplomatic Enclave was challenged in Islamabad High Court on Wednesday.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairperson Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Tariq Mehmood Pirzada, Islamabad Transport Authority Secretary Aasia Gul, Diplomatic Shuttle & Transport Service Private Company contractor Muhammad Hussain and Public Procurement Regularity Authority (PPRA) chairperson, named in a writ petition, were given till March 29 to respond to the allegations.

Chaudhry Attaur Rehman filed the writ petition accusing CDA of violating the rules of PPRA Ordinance 2002 by extending the shuttle service contract to Diplomatic Shuttle & Transport Service Private Company in May 2008 for seven years.

According to the rules, CDA had to invite open bids for the project. But the authority extended the contract without inviting any bids. The contract details were never made public, the petitioner said. He added that the company is not registered, which also violates the rules.

He said the company set fares on its own without first getting them approved from ITA. Thus the company violated the Provision of West Pakistan Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965.

He asked the court to cancel the contract and direct CDA to announce fresh bids in accordance with PPRA rules. He also requested the court to declare the diplomatic service as a public service.

The shuttle service was first launched in April 2002 from Convention Centre, with an aim of establishing a safe and speedy shuttle service for diplomatic dignitaries as well as domestic visa seekers.

Later, it also became a way of ensuring better security for diplomatic enclave, serving as a first-line check for the intending visitors. This also helped in reducing the number of private vehicles inside the enclave.
Currently the ticket for a two-kilometre distance in the Diplomatic Enclave is priced at Rs500.

Nowadays, visa seekers can only access Diplomatic Enclave through the shuttle service and that too after getting an appointment from the concerned embassy.