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Murad Ali Shah urges center to allow management control of dams on rotation basis to provinces

Karachi, March 21, 2017 (PPI-OT):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that due to mismanagement and poor planning Tarbella and Mangla dams have turned dry. Therefore, he demanded that the administration of dams be given to the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan on rotation basis. This he said while addressing a crowded press conference here at the CM House today. He was flanked by provincial ministers, Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Jam Khan Shoro, Jam Mehtab Dahar and Sohail Anwar Siyal.

He said that the Irsa has informed the provincial government that there would be a shortage of water from 10 to 60 percent due to alarming depletion of Tarbella and Mangla Reservoirs. He added that when there was plenty of water the water was being released into Links Canals instead of storing into the dams. This shortage would affect Sindh badly because early sowing always takes place here due to our weather conditions.

Recalling 2015, the chief minister said that there was also a shortage of water but even then dams were filled with 61 MAF water but this year there was plenty of water but they failed to fill the dams. He said that the Sindh government kept warning the federal government about the expected shortages of water during the Kharif season and kept urging them to make necessary measure but “all our warnings and uproar fall flat on the deaf ears,” he deplored.

He said that he had held a meeting with Irrigation department experts on last Wednesday to work out strategy to cope up the situation even then there would be serious problems all over Sindh and the worst affectees would be the growers of Kotri Barrage command area. “There would also be a shortage of drinking water but we are trying to manage the situation,” he said.

He deplored that the link canals were being constructed and flown with water without taking other provinces into confidence. This is a very undemocratic attitude and would create serious differences among the provinces and the federation. He demanded that Sindh and Balochistan should also be taken into confidence while taking important decisions in water, power and energy sectors. He also demanded that the administration of dams be given on rotation basis to Sindh and Balochistan. “We don’t trust them in distribution of water, power and gas,” he said categorically.

He surprised that the federal government was installing coal-fired power plant at Sahiwal, as a matter of fact it should have been installed in Sindh because the coal is here. There are a number of other projects launched at wrong places. Replying to a question about Sharjeel Memon, he said that it was high handedness on the part of NAB. He was granted protective bail by Islamabad High Court but even then he was manhandled. “He is an elected member of provincial assembly of Sindh and has come to face the cases but was harassed badly,” he said.

Replying to another question, he said that his policy towards corruption was `zero tolerance’ but under name of corruption NAB or any other institution has no right to destroy our smooth working and affect our development works. “The NAB had arrested senior irrigation officers but what court has recorded in the judge is worth reading- the court has exposed the NAB that it has done wrong,” he said and added that he was working against corruption by taking administrative measures.

He also added that the people who are facing serious cases in Supreme Court are enjoying senior and important positions in the federal government but they are harassing those who voluntarily return to face the cases. The chief minister replying to another question said that the water and Power Ministry was a big hurdle in installing power plants and distribution lines. “We have installed a power plant at Nooriabad in which Wapda created lot of hurdles. He added that the Sindh government has established its own Dispatch and Distribution Company but that is also not acceptable to Wapda.

He announced that he would establish district power plants on wind and solar energy and then develop provincial distribution system to provide power to the local areas. “This is the only way to control power shortage, otherwise the approach of federal government to produce energy is not based on sincere intentions particularly there are some unscrupulous who create problems and cause unnecessary delays,” he said.

The chief minister said that there were some people in the Ministry of Water and Power who even do not listen to their minister. Most of times he turns to be helpless. This is the situation how things are moving in the federal government, he said. He also criticized HESCO and SESCO for prolonged load-shedding, over billing and playing games to delay power projects in Sindh.

The chief minister concluding his press conference said that he was trying to serve people of Sindh with heart and soul. “I have taken up development works all over Sindh and have declared emergency in education and health sectors and Inshallah some good results would come out in the interest of Sindh and its people,” he hoped.

For more information, contact:
Press Secretary,
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019 (Ext: 336)
Website: www.cmsindh.gov.pk

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