ISLAMABAD: The National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) has expressed its inability to police the length of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with the existing force and resources at its disposal.
The department revealed that it had insufficient manpower and resources to do the job during a meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Communication, held at the NH&MP office in Sector G-13, on Monday.
The NH&MP informed the meeting that almost double its existing force would be required to effectively police the new and under-construction motorways that were part of CPEC. It was also informed that a demand for additional 10,000 officers had been sent to the federal government for their induction, but nothing had been done in this regard so far.
NA body wants NH&MP to induct 10,000 new personnel by Dec 2017
“The committee was told that NH&MP has been asked to appoint the required staff by Dec 2017, as CPEC will be fully operational by next year,” Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Salim Rehman — a member of the committee — told Dawn after the meeting.
The NH&MP also demanded more resources, an office building and state-of-the-art equipment to perform their duties on the new roads and CPEC motorways, the MNA said.
Officials from the communications ministry said the federal government had approved the required budget, posts and new inductions for the motorway police, adding that a new director had been appointed to complete the process of fresh inductions by December this year.
The officials said the required funds had already been allocated in the recently passed budget for FY2017-18.
An official statement, issued after the meeting, said that participants also called for the swift completion of work on CPEC’s western route.
The committee was told that around 4,000km of new roads had been built under CPEC and after the completion of the western route, another 2,600km would be added to the country’s road network, the statement said.
According to the official statement, committee members directed that new officers should be inducted and trained by the end of the year.
The committee also took notice of frequent traffic jams on the under-construction M-9 Hyderabad-Karachi Motorway and directed the Frontier Works Organisation — the contractor — to provide an alternate route to ensure the smooth flow of traffic on this busy thoroughfare.
The NH&MP said that it faced hardship and was unable to control traffic on M-9 due to the mess created there by the construction work. The committee was informed that more than 50,000 vehicles ply on this road every day.
Meanwhile, a senior NH&MP officer said the department was facing several problems due to “mismanagement”.
He said the existing motorway police force was also performing its duty on new roads, including the Murree Expressway, Multan-Khanewal motorway, Faisalabd-Gojra motorway and a few new roads in Balochistan.
In addition, the department has done no work on road safety measures for the past few years, which has led to a decline in awareness of motorway traffic rules among motorists.