ISLAMABAD    -   Senate Standing Committee on Communications on Monday laud­ed the efforts of the National High­way Authority to restore the na­tional road network, which was affected due to heavy rains and floods across the country. 

A letter of appreciation was also handed over to the Chairman NHA Capt (Retd) Khurram Agha by the Chairman Standing Committee Prince Umer Ahmedzai on behalf of the committee. 

The committee met at the Parlia­ment House to discuss on ground situation of the road network in flood-affected areas. 

Chairman NHA informed the committee that Balochistan had faced record heavy rains and floods which was never witnessed during last one century. He told the committee that KP, Sindh, Ba­lochistan and South Punjab were badly affected due to heavy rains and floods. 

Khurram Agha said the national road network has sustained huge losses and damage up to the large scale but NHA teams worked day and night and tried to restore the network as early as possible. 

Replying to a question about Hub Bridge, the chairman NHA said the bridge collapsed due to flooding and we were unable to construct even a temporary bridge on site due to high flow of water. 

He however assured the com­mittee that now the new bridge will be built as per the latest de­sign to cater needs of the traffic flow to avoid congestion. 

He said that NHA made N-5 op­erational, which is a lifeline for Sindh but could not open the In­dus Highway so far due to the ac­cumulated water. 

Meanwhile, the committee members were also briefed about the status of Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway. It was informed that contract to build the said road has been awarded to an interna­tional company, which will start working once procedural formal­ities are done. 

It was told that the total length of motorway between Pesha­war and Karachi is 1522km and 1216km has already been com­pleted and opened for traffic. Only 306km long portion was left be­hind, which is the Sukkur-Hyder­abad Motorway and once com­pleted the motorway route will be ready for commuters all the way from Peshawar to Karachi. 

Matter related to high rates of different commodities on the ser­vice areas of motorways also came under discussion. The committee directed NHA to do necessary leg­islation in this regard and impose heavy fines for overcharging at service areas. 

Chairman NHA told the com­mittee that the parliamentarians have been exempted from toll tax on all national highways and mo­torways