Minister of Communication and Postal Services claims to have recovered embezzlement worth Rs.10.8 billion from the Hazara Motorway, which was constructed under the CPEC project, a section of which is scheduled to open today for the public. Minister Murad Saeed asserted that he began the inquiry following his suspicion of an additional bridge in the Hazara Motorway.
Havelian-Thakot section of #HazaraMotorway projects shall directly benefit approximately 7 million population of Hasan Abdal, Haripur, Havelian, Abbottabad, Mansehra and Northern areas https://t.co/Qyu1kdUpqV
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) November 18, 2019
He refuted the objections of the opposition member who claimed that Hazara Motorway had been completed for months and the inauguration was deliberately being delayed by the Communication Minister. Saeed challenged the allegations and asserted that the inauguration was delayed due to the change in design ordered by ordered by ex-premier Nawaz Sharif. It also increased the cost of the whole project, he added.
Hazara Motorway will be open for public on 15th November. The delay was due to change in design by previous Government, that also escalated cost of project. Initiated inquiry in all NHA projects, that led to a recovery of over 10 Billion rupees :: @MuradSaeedPTI pic.twitter.com/agiytrGksT
— PTI (@PTIofficial) November 12, 2019
While responding to PMLN’s Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Saeed said that the revise in the design of the motorway piqued his interest following which he requested FIA to review the reasons for the addition of the bridge in the Hazara Motorway project. He added that it was revealed that a 45-feet long bridge was built to facilitate the property and assets of a close acquaintance of Nawaz Sharif.
Later on, an internal inquiry into the case enabled the recovery of a hefty amount of Rs.10.8 billion. He added that it was this alteration in the design of the motorway, approved by the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif that caused the delay in the inauguration of the motorway.
Minister Saeed informed the National Assembly of Pakistan that he has noticed similar alterations made to the design in Sukkur-Multan motorway, Lahore Abdul Hakeem motorway section and Hakla- Dera Ismail Khan Motorway projects.
He slammed the former government for ordering the addition of the bridge as it escalated the cost of the project, delayed the completion process and wasted the public’s time. Saeed asked if the opposition member would apologize for putting baseless allegations on him and misreporting the facts on the assembly floor
A report which has recently surfaced stated that the hoardings praising former premier Nawaz Sharif were erected prior to the inauguration of the Havelian Mansehra section of the Hazara Motorway by Imran Khan today. This has brought PML-N under fire again.
The world-class Hazara Motorway was built under CPEC, and is expected to facilitate tourism and hustle-free travel in the division.