‘Early repair of rain-damaged roads will do a world of good’

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Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah directed the officers concerned on Tuesday to repair the roads damaged by the recent rains at the earliest to facilitate the people of the affected areas.
“Roads are the best source of communication and can play a vital role in the early development, progress and prosperity of the province,” he said.
“The government is trying to spread the communication network in all parts of province to achieve the development goal.”
The chief minister was presiding over a meeting of the Works and Services Department at the Chief Minister’s House.
According to an official handout, he said that the government had declared the year 2011-12 as the year of development, and even though the infrastructure suffered huge losses due to the recent rains, the provincial government still wants to fulfil its commitment by repairing the damaged roads.
The chief minister directed the additional chief secretary (planning and development) to approve pending schemes as soon as possible.
He also instructed that the scheme for the construction of five-km roads under the MPAs quota should be allocated funds.
He said that all approved road and building schemes should be completed by June 31 next year and set the deadline of December 31 this year for finalising the schemes of all departments.
The chief minister also stressed the need for monitoring and inspection of schemes.
Earlier, Works and Services Secretary Arif Khan informed the participants of the meeting that there are 589 schemes of his department. Out of them, work is under way on 442 and 145 are new ones.
He said that against the allocation of Rs 10.7 billion in the budget, Rs 5.5 billion have been released so far and Rs 1.4 billion have been spent – 24 percent of the total.
“About Rs 7.5 billion are needed to complete all development schemes of the province,” he added.
He said President Asif Ali Zaradari has directed that a development ombudsman be appointed, who will inspect development schemes.
The Works and Services secretary further said that monitoring committees at the district level have been formed that are inspecting the ongoing and completed work.
He said that a fake payment of Rs 41 million was detected in Matiari district, where a building scheme was shown to be completed, but the structure did not exist and not even a single brick was bought for the project.
He informed the chief minister that the executive engineer, engineer and other staff there have been suspended and further action will be taken against them.
He assured the chief minister that over 1,000 schemes of the Annual Development Programme under the Works and Services Department will be completed by June next year. These schemes do not include those for the flood-hit population or special package ones.