KARACHI - Sindh cabinet has decided to purchase a $15.95 million helicopter from an Italian company for Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to carry out relief work.

This decision was taken in the cabinet meeting held with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in the chair at the CM House.

The chairman procurement committee Shazar Shamooon, through a presentation, briefed the cabinet. He said advertisement for procurement of a helicopter was published on the official websites of PDMA, SPPRA and in the national and international dailies. In response, eight parties procured the bid documents and only one party M/S Augusta Westland, SPA Italy responded to the advertisement. He said the technical committee under chief pilot of VIP flights evaluated the technical bid. The procurement committee after visiting the user of helicopter, Model AW 139 in Pakistan, held a meeting with the technical team of Agusta Westland.

The chief minister, with the approval of the cabinet, directed the procurement committee to award contract to procure the 12-seater helicopter AW 139 for $15.95 million.

The Sindh chief minister decided to establish two development authorities, Thar Development Authority and Kohistan Development Authorities, through two separate ordinances for which he directed the law department to complete the required formalities within a week. On the proposal of Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Sharjeel Memon, the chief minister approved the proposal to conduct a study to establish a housing scheme of 6,000 houses to be constructed in drought-affected areas of Thar.

Under the proposal, a housing scheme with 6,000 houses would be established in the drought-affected area. Each house would have two reasonable wide rooms with a corridor within a compound wall. The scheme would have all the basic facilities such as health education, water and sanitation and recreation. The scheme would have a commercial corridor with a cattle colony, dairy farms and markets. These houses would be provided to the drought-affected people living in the far-flung areas of Thar, free of cost. These houses cannot be sold for 99 years. Sindh Health Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar said health services had been improved considerably in Thar.  On the complaint of provincial minister Mukesh Mukmar, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah directed the Sindh IG to recover two Hindus who were kidnapped from Kandhkot. He called for proper security to Hindu community and warned of consequences if not done.  

Qaim also told the cabinet that he has taken up the issue of missing persons and recoveries of their mutilated bodies with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “He has assured that his ministry would play effective role to stop it,” he added. The cabinet lauded the strategy of the chief minister to handle the PTI protests with political wisdom.