Thursday September 16, 2021

NHA has become a ‘corrupt institution’: CJP

June 10, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Wednesday lamented that the National Highway Authority (NHA) had become a “corrupt institution” as Supreme Court judges expressed their annoyance on the statutory body’s performance.

While hearing a case, the three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi rejected the NHA’s report on the dilapidated condition of the N-25 highway. The court also sought a report on the repairing of highways, as well as accidents.

The Chief Justice questioned the Member Admin NHA as to where the funds received by the NHA were utilised. NHA roads (were) damaged by rainwater, he added. He said the NHA was “responsible” for deaths of people in traffic accidents.

Justice Ahmed lamented that the NHA had become a “corrupt institution” as petrol pumps, hotels and shops had been leased on highway lands.

According to the 2018 report, 5,932 people were killed in 12,894 accidents while recent news was that 36,000 people lost their lives in road accidents this year, he added. NHA’s Member Planning Shahid Ahsan said the condition of the roads would be improved by the end of this year.

The Chief Justice said the NHA was “not doing standard work on any road as people are dying on the roads due to NHA’s negligence”. “Not even trees are planted on the sides of the highways,” he added. Justice Gulzar remarked that the contractors in the NHA were “engaged in minting money”.

The NHA got “so much money” but it was not known where these funds were utilised, he added. Later, the hearing of the case was adjourned till date in office.