National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence was informed on Monday that the second phase of the new Benazir International Airport would be completed by September 2012.
The airport is being constructed by a Chinese company, which is the world’s fourth largest construction company. The total cost of the project is is Rs 63 billion. “The first phase has been completed while the second phase will be completed by September 2012,” said a press release.
The committee meeting, chaired by Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, was apprised that the cargo operation could be started in December 2012 and the main problem being faced in the project was the road network, which was to be completed by the National Highway Authority (NHA). The committee stressed the NHA to take appropriate steps for timely completion of the project.
The meeting was attended among others by MNAs Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur, Dr Abdul Wahid Soomro, Shagufta Sadiq, Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial, Capt (r) Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharal, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Hamid Saeed Kazmi and Jawad Hussain. Ministry of Defence Additional Secretary, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director, Airport Security Force Director General, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General, Ministry of Finance Joint Secretary, Pakistan Meteorological Department Director General and other relevant officers from Ministry of Defence and PIA also attended the meeting.
The committee approved the Airport Security Force (Amendment) Bill 2011. The NA body was also briefed on the present status of all the runways. The committee was also informed that the CAA was facing problems in moving heavy machinery from Badin to Mithi due to the damaged road network. On the desire of the committee, the PIA MD assured the provision of two flights to Sehwan Sharif within thirty days.
The committee was also briefed on the security measures adopted at small airports and the present status of vehicles brought in by the foreign dignitaries through small airports in Pakistan. The committee condemned and took serious notice of the manhandling by Sindh Police of a PIA official for not delaying the flight for Sindh IGP. It was decided to hold the meeting of the committee on the issue on February 3.
The NA Standing Committee constituted a sub-committee under the convenership of Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan to look into the misreporting by some private TV channels regarding ownership of the Indus Airlines. app