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NHA Chairman, officials go in hiding after booked in Karachi bridge collapse case.

By ISLAMABAD, April 13, 2010 (Frontier Star): The NHA Chairman and two other most senior officials of National Highway Authority (NHA) have gone into hiding after they were nominated in the Shershah Bridge Karachi collapse case, they claim was not their fault. The administrative, financial and operational matters of the authority have come to almost a stand still after these top officials were booked in the bridge collapse case. Work on projects of billion of rupees has come to a stand still alongwith other administrative and financial operations of the authority, sources said. They have been charged in the FIR under sections that are non-bailable offences and therefore the officials have gone into hiding to avoid their arrest. The cases against seven people including the NHA top brass were registered by SITE police station last week on the orders of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. The one kilometre long Shershah Bridge at Northern Bypass Karachi (NBPK) caved in on September 01, 2007 only 25 days after it was inaugurated by the then President Parvez Musharraf. Sources told that cases against NHA Chairman Altaf Hussain, Member Operations Raja Nausherwan Sultan, General Manager Construction Yousuf Barakzai have been registered under various sections and their names have been put on the Exit Control List (ECL). NHA Chairman pointed out that the construction company responsible for the construction of the bridge has been exonerated. He pleaded that the NHA officials are innocent. He said soon after the incident he had stopped payment to the company and thus protected the national exchequer from a huge loss. He said only Rs. 90 million had been released to the construction firm and out of this amount Rs. 40 million had already been received back from the said company. The NHA Chairman held the contraction company and designing company responsible for the debacle and claimed that the authority had expressed its reservations much before the inauguration of the bridge. He resented that the raids were being conducted to arrest the NHA officials which was flagrant violation of the orders of the Chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 13, 2010
Words:353
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