ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Saturday directed Capital Development Authority (CDA) not to ‘dish out’ public property to Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

The PAC, which met here with Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the chair, issued these directives while discussing the issue of increasing number of fatal road accidents on newly inaugurated Islamabad Expressway.

The PAC summoned CDA Chairman Tariq Mahmood and Islamabad Inspector General Police (IGP) Syed Qalb-e-Abbass along with SSP Traffic Zubair Hashmi for the increasing fatal accidents on the expressway.

The PAC chairman said there were media reports that CDA was planning to ‘dish out’ the land alongside the Expressway to Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

The CDA chief admitted that the DHA had shown interest in constructing high-rises alongside the newly inaugurated Islamabad Expressway on the pattern of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

He said the DHA had written a letter to the civic body and later also gave a presentation to CDA board in this regard but so far no decision had been made.

The PAC directed the CDA chief not to allow the DHA construct high-rises on both sides of the Islamabad Expressway. “We will not allow dolling out public property to anybody whether it is DHA or someone else,” he categorically said.

About the newly built Islamabad Expressway, PAC observed that it had unfortunately become a nightmare for the people instead of facilitating them.

The CDA chief told the committee that there was no provision of overhead bridges on the expressway in its original plan. Mahmood said, however, soon after he took over the charge as the civic body chairman, the decision was made to construct eight overhead bridges to control the road accidents.

Overhead bridges: Mahmood informed the meeting that overhead bridges would be constructed at eight different locations and two of them would be ready by March whereas the rest would be completed till July. He said orders had been placed with Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) for construction of the bridges.

He said the parliamentary committee had directed the HMC to make timely delivery of the manufactured bridges to facilitate the pedestrians.

Speed limit: The IGP briefed the committee about traffic handling on the Expressway. He said possible measures were being taken to avoid fatal accidents on the road.

He informed the committee that the police had put temporarily speed breakers and installed cat-eyes until the completion of overhead bridges construction work. The speed limit on the road has been reduced from 70 km per hour to 60 km per hour, he added.

The SSP Traffic told the committee that the authorities were taking every possible step for imparting traffic education to people for which a well-equipped school was in place to train young drivers.

However, he said there were 136 districts of Pakistan who had licence-issuing authority with different set of rules to follow, which needed to be uniformed throughout the country for a better management of traffic on roads.

Source: Daily Times