Even after seven decades, the State has failed in executing developmental and infrastructural projects without associated scandals of financial embezzlement or mismanagement. A Senate panel on Monday ordered investigations to probe the delays and cost escalations of the Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV). Despite the tall claims made in the past, there are fears that the said scheme may not meet the water demands of the metropolis that is Karachi.

Many a time, schemes that were supposed to facilitate ordinary citizens in meeting their daily and fundamental requirements have met a gloomy fate. Delays, shortcomings in design and failure to promptly execute the project tell us not only a story of financial embezzlement in the process but also of government incompetence and sheer lack of disregard for the woes of ordinary citizens.

Earlier a Supreme Court-mandated commission while probing the delay facing the K-IV project observed that the project had suffered adversely due to frequent realignments –22 times. The constant realignments of the project, and the lack of accountability against those who mismanage and cause wastage of resources, leads to a lack of trust in the government among citizens, who believe such infrastructure developments profit the rich only.

It is good that the Senate panel has ordered an inquiry into the project; however, past investigations that the parliament had initiated against such schemes depict a very disappointing picture. Previous accountability efforts have resulted in those who accountable for harming the national exchequer roaming free. We can only hope that this probe will be more instrumental in holding the responsible ones accountable.

The Sindh government needs to conduct a thorough inquiry in the delays and changes in the designs of the water scheme. It is a test for the provincial government’s reputation. If the Sindh government holds the culprits accountable, it will serve as a deterrent against mismanagement and wastage.