KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed reservations over appointment of federal member in the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) and said the federal member should be Sindh domiciled as per the agreement made in 2000.

Furnishing a policy statement during the Sindh Assembly session on Tuesday, Murad said that he came to know through media reports that a committee led by Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda recommended Prime Minister Imran Khan to appoint a person – not having Sindh domicile – as the federal member in IRSA. He said as per Indus River System Authority Act, 1992, the authority consists of five members – one each to be nominated by each province and the federal government—but it was decided in 2000 that the federal member should belong to Sindh too as it is tail-end province, adding that the decision was not reversed yet.

“We had sent three names to the federal government to appoint one of them as the IRSA’s federal member but to no avail. It is right of Sindh province to have its nominee as the federal member and this right was not taken away even during the dictatorship,” the CM said. He added that the Prime Minister Imran Khan had contested and won election from Sindh as well as the Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda also belonged to the same province but still it faced ‘injustices’ by the Centre.

Federal govt violating constitution by not convening CCI meeting

Speaking on delay of Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting, Murad was of the view that the federal government was violating Constitution by not convening CCI meeting within stipulated time. “The Constitution says that CCI meeting should be held after 90 days but the same was not convened since November 2018,” he added.

Separately, the Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution and demanded that those who delayed K-IV through their ill-planning and faulty execution should be taken to task. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Adeel Ahmed moved a resolution that read, “This House resolves that the departments and individuals responsible for the ill-planning and faulty execution of the most vital water project of Karachi K-IV must be indentified and taken to task. The House also resolves that the Government of Sindh must initiate alternate water projects for Karachi to save Karachi from water shortage”.

Speaking on the resolution, Adeel said that K-IV water project was approved in 2007 and suffered massive delay as its feasibility study was completed after the lapse of seven years in 2014. “The government took two more years to award its contract and it is revealed that the project cannot be completed due to poor planning and faulty execution,” he added.

The PTI lawmaker said the cost of the project was to be shared by federal and Sindh governments and the Centre had already released Rs12 billion which he said have been utilised. He added that Sindh government could not complete the project even in 12 years due to its incompetence.

Opposition Leader Firdaus Shamim Naqvi said that there was huge gap between demand and supply of water in Karachi as the city gets 450 MGD water against its demand of 1200 MGD. “The Pakistan Peoples Party is ruling for the last 12 years but miserably failed to resolve the public issues,” he added while asking the government to give deadline for resolving the water woes.

Javed Hanif of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said that the project suffered huge delay owing to ‘corruption’ of the ruling PPP. “Half of the PPP was wanted to either to the National Accountability Bureau or the Anti-Corruption department,” he added.

Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah also supported the resolution and said that it was not his party that ruined K-IV. The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board was not under administrative control of the provincial government and they too wanted to expose the responsible.

 

 

He demanded that a high level committee should be formed and action be taken against those who delayed K-IV.

Meanwhile, the government opposed a motion of the Grand Democratic Alliance legislator for leave to introduce the private bill ‘The Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2019’. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, who also holds Religious Affairs portfolio, said the bill with same title was already in the standing committee and the same cannot be moved.

Separately, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani rejected the adjournment motion moved by Khurram Sher Zaman of PTI regarding recent hike in flour prices.

Later, the house was adjourned till Monday at 2pm.