KARACHI: The National Highway Authority (NHA) is ignoring ‘contract clause’ and saving an amount of Rs 8 billion approximately for not constructing proper and safe diversions at Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway, causing frequent fatal accidents at the route. Officials told Daily Times that the 136-kilometre road to be constructed by the NHA that awarded Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO). The NHA has not properly built diversion road that can save time and provide safety for traffic and commuters, the officials said. They said that keeping in view the gravity of situation, traffic accidents occurred on daily basis and delay in reaching to nearby cities become a routine matter. Under the contract, the construction cost of diversions included in the contract and the NHA is ignoring for building road, saving the cost of about Rs 5 to 8 billion for 136-kilometres motorway, they added. The officials said that due to the absence of proper diversion for smooth traffic flow, travel time increased to five hours to nearby cities. According to a letter wrote to NHA Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar by the Transparency International Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzzafar, allegation of non-performance of FWO and NHA on Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway causing frequent fatal accidents were made. According to the terms of BOT contract awarded to FWO by NHA, Standard Bidding Documents (SBD) of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) on BOT Contract were used by the NHA, while inviting bids, they informed. “The ‘Contract Agreement’ should have been signed. The PEC SBD 2-10 includes the comments, “While preparing this bidding document, the bidding documents prepared by NHA for highway projects on BOT basis, Public Procurement Rules 2004, Public Procurement Regulations 2007 and guideline provided by UNIDO were consulted”, they said. The officials further said that following mandatory safety requirements were stated in Article 11.12. “Safety, 11.12.1 the company will undertake the construction works, and the organisation and implementation of temporary traffic diversions and controls in such a manner as to ensure proper levels of safety for the road users, the public in general and those engaged on the works themselves.” It is worthwhile to mention here that at the time of approving the BOT project, Naeem Ahmed Mughal, director general of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said, “The NHA and FWO were required to take every possible measure to control environmental pollution in an effective manner so that proper road safety measures were ensured and lives of people could be protected.” In another letter written on September, 9, 2016, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah gave directions to the NHA chairman for its substandard construction and asked to find out its solution at Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway. He said that people of Karachi and Hyderabad were facing a lot of problems during the construction of motorway and numbers of traffic accidents have been occurred. “A fatal traffic incident occurred on September 7, which claimed dozens of life was only due to substandard construction of motorway”, Khursheed Shah pointed out.