ISLAMABAD, Jul 31 (APP):Ministry of Communications has registered over 51% increase in its annual revenue during recently concluded fiscal year 2018-2019.
An official source told APP Wednesday that the ministry has generated a record revenue of Rs 43.32 billion during 2018-19 as compared to Rs 28.64 billion in fiscal year 2017-18.
The ministry has so far recovered Rs 7 billion and deposited the amount to the national kitty, he added.
He said that billions of rupees were also recovered under the anti-encroachment campaign during past 11 months in all parts of the country on the Right of Way of the NHA.
A new system containing facilities such as e-billing, e-tendering, and mobile app has been introduced by the ministry to enhance transparency.
In accountability head, total audit recoveries of Rs 7.02 billion were made in 2018-19, whereas in 2017-18, he said.
The minister also ordered special audit of delayed projects of the NHA including Lyari Expressway, Khuzdar-Shahdadkot Highway(M-8), Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Highway (M-8), Lowari Tunnel (N-45) Civil Works, and Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Highway (N-25).
The official said that during past 11 months, National Highway Authority actively launched the anti-encroachment drive and 3347 encroachments were removed and 448.25 Kanals of land recaptured. The estimated cost of the vacated land stood at Rs. 2.503 billion.
He said that Under the Clean and Green Pakistan Programme, NHA has planted 757,926 trees along motorways and national highways during 2018-19 and will continue in 2019-20.
In 2018-19 National Highway Authority launched mobile applications to share information of all ongoing projects as well as live information for commuter’s facilitation. Geographic information system is another step forward initiated to prepare digital data of entire NHA’s Right of Way (RoW) that will be completed by December 11, 2020, he said.
He said that the NHA has introduced e-billing project to convert payments of development projects through electronic mode has also been initiated. Hakla-D.I Khan Motorway Project will come on e-billing mode as a pilot project. With the view to maintain transparency in road building schemes, a system for E-Tendering/Bidding of NHA’s procurement has been started that will be completed and launched by December 2019.
The source said that National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) during past one year has sped up digitalization process of its systems to ensure safety of commuters and smooth flow of traffic on national highways network.
The NH&NH, he said has undertaken special measures by creating a network for crisis cells and a nerve centre has been established at Central Police Office in Islamabad to coordinate, supervise and oversee communications across the domain of Motorway Police, the official said.
For want of cellular communication and electronic media restrictions, the crisis centre furnished real time road situation to commuters through various avenues.
Travel advisory portal, an online medium that provides instant updates on road situation and weather conditions has been launched by the NH&MP. The monitoring of this facility through filed establishments ensures timely notification of relevant information in the areas of road block ,fog and visibility, road closure and diversion. The URL for accessing this portal is www.nhmp.gov.pk/TravelAdvisory/.
He said that the motorway Police has developed a smart phone application with the objective to provide timely assistance to commuters in categories of road crash, medical emergency, repair and travel advisory. Minister for Communications Murad Saeed inaugurated the application. The salient features of the application include identification of location through real time navigation, direct connection between road user and relevant sector office. He said that operations of NH&MP Drivers Licensing Authority (DLA) in Islamabad have been upgraded to a single window system that enables prompt processing of applications.
The system is an integration of biometric verification, facial imaging and documentary profile.
In collaboration with Total Parco, NHMP had installed the first ever HTV Driving Simulator last year at the training College Sheikhupura to simulate real time training exercise, he said.