ISLAMABAD: National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Muhammad Ali Gardezi has taken serious notice of delay in execution of projects and the issue of increase in cost of the projects and warned that the project directors should follow the timeline and complete the project in time.

If the cost is increased due to any fault, the responsible person would be penalized, Gardezi said this while addressing the GM Coordination Conference held in NHA. The conference was attended by all members, general manger and directors of the NHA.

The chairman has also directed that all officers of NHA in field posting will be required to sign an oath whereby they will declare that they will not involve in malpractices and would not get any commission, directly or indirectly from the contractors. In the same manner the contractors will produce an oath saying that they will not give any commission, directly or indirectly, to any NHA employee. This document is being made pre-requisite for all tender notices and policy decision regarding it has been taken.

The NHA chairman said that the general manager and directors should go out to field and supervise and monitor the work themselves. He urged the need for use of modern technology and innovative ideas in field of road construction. The chairman said that roads are image of NHA. Road in good shape portray a positive image of NHA and vice versa. He asked the officers to take pains to provide good results. Timely action on damaged roads will increase their life and regular monitoring is key to it, he added. He stressed upon the officers to make efforts to increase the revenue of NHA through good practices by leasing out the land in transparent manner.

He asked them to maintain an update record of all land owned by NHA and utilise it efficiently. He asked them to adopt transparent methods in all their dealings. Touching the road damage due to the overloading, he said that NHA is making a plan, where by all the overloaded trucks will be unloaded and then allowed to travel on national highways. He directed to make proper areas at selected weigh stations for unloading the trucks. He also urged the officer to hold meetings with the transporters and convince them against overloading.

The chairman also raised the issue of increase in cost of the projects and said that the project directors should follow timeline and complete the project in time. If the cost is increased due to any fault, the responsible person would be penalised, he added. Projects should be completed within the given time period at all cost, he said. The chairman stressed upon the need of proper budgeting and directed each general manager to prepare Annual Maintenance Plan. The Annual Maintenance Plan should be designed on need basis and be submitted to NHA for approval.

The chairman also urged the need of transparency in tenders and said that tenders should be issued through multiple sources so that the interested parties are informed in time. In his closing remarks the chairman said that roads are an asset to the nation and we are the protectors of this asset. We should take its construction and maintenance on national daily, he added.