SC reprimands NHA for failing to improve roads’ infrastructure

By: News Desk      Published: 03:10 PM, 13 Oct, 2021
NHA highways case
File photo.

Criticising the National Highway Authority (NHA) for not looking after highways in the country, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday summoned the NHA chairman to appear on the next date of hearing in person, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.  

The SC gave the orders during the hearing of the case of poor state of RCD highway of which the court had taken a suo moto notice.

A two-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed, which heard the case, also directed the Authority to submit to it a report on the condition of highways across the country. 

“The NHA has left all the roads, barring the Lahore-Islamabad motorway unattended. The department is not doing any quality work,” the CJP remarked angrily.

The court asked as to why policemen had not been deployed on Karachi-Quetta highway in order to provide security to the passengers. “The dilapidated condition of the roads may put passengers’ lives at risk. NHA should completely overhaul the condition of Karachi to Quetta highway,” CJP Gulzar ordered.   

At the same time, he noted that lines had not been properly marked on the highways. “A single spell of rain is enough to obliterate these markings,” he said, and questioned as to why the road connecting Quetta to Karachi was not built on the pattern of a motorway. 

Similarly, the CJP added the construction of Chitral to Gilgit road had been shown to be complete in official papers. “But the situation is exactly the opposite as stones and pebbles are scattered on it so much so that vehicles could not even move,” he remarked. 

The NHA official told the court previously the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was working on the project. “It has only been a year that we have been assigned the task to complete the road,” he elaborated. 

CJP Gulzar said it was unfortunate that billions of rupees were shown to have been spent on the maintenance of roads. “The Authority has failed to build a road from Karachi to Hyderabad. A flyover is not constructed until there are casualties,” he remarked.

Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel inquired from the NHA official as to how much was the department’s income and what were the details of its expenditures.

Later the court adjourned hearing of the case until the first week of December.