CM asks PHE dept to evolve maintenance of water, sanitation schemes

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed Public Health Engineering (PHE) & Rural Development Department (RDD) to convert their water supply schemes on solar system so that water supply to small villages could be made uninterrupted.

This he said while presiding over a meeting regarding the development schemes of PHE and RDD. Those who attended the meeting include, Senior Minister for Finance & Energy Syed Murad Ali Shah, Special Assistant to CM for PHE & RDD Fayaz Butt, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev) Aijaz Ali Khan, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary PHE & RDD Imran Atta Soomro, chief engineers PHE & RDD and other concerned staff.

Chief Engineering PH&E Nafees Shaikh said that over all 139 schemes, including 66 water supply and 73 drainage schemes were going on at cost of Rs1993.583 million against which the finance department has released Rs1706.236 million and so far the utilisation of the released funds is Rs888.864 million.

He said that 59 new schemes, including 27 water supply and 32 drainage schemes have been identified for which the government has allocated Rs490.659 million. “These schemes are at the final stage of the approval and would be launched shortly,” he said.

Talking about rehabilitation of non-functional schemes, the chief engineer said that 100 are water supply and other 100 are drainage schemes. Their rehabilitation cost has been approved at Rs2900 million, out of which Rs1821.994 million have been released. Over Rs 916 million have been utilised out of the released amount.

Replying to a question the chief engineer said that 57 water supply and drainage schemes would be completed by the end of 2015-16. On this the chief minister directed the Additional Aijaz Ali Khan to conduct inspection of each and every scheme being completed by the end of current financial year. “Most of the schemes of PHE are not up to the mark in terms of their quality and utility,” he said.

Secretary PHE&RDD Imran Atta Soomro said that PHE construct schemes and then handover to the concerned community. The community usually fails to operate the scheme due to lack of funds. The chief minister directed the chief secretary to work out a proposal either to hand over the schemes to local government to create a repair and maintenance wing in the PHE so that community could take benefit from these schemes.

The chief engineer RDD said that his department has focused different sectors such as link roads (farm to market roads), water supply & sanitation, coastal area water supply and sanitation, water supply to brackish water zones, environment (CC block pavements), rehabilitation of hand pumps contaminated from arsenic in rural areas, mobile drinking water testing and safety measures advisory project and solar street lights.

He said that in the different sectors this year 26 schemes have been launched Rs1 billion. The chief minister said that the scheme of mobile drinking water testing & safety measures advisory project would be of great importance.

“In this way the government would be able to collect data of the areas where unhealthy water exists. This would help the government to formulate new schemes according to the data collected RDD,” he said.

Talking about solar streetlights, the chief minister said that solar street lights schemes have become so popular in the rural areas that every one asking for such schemes.

Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the companies installing solar light must have a complete infrastructure to main them round the year.

CM’s advisor on PHE & RDD Fayaz Butt said that he was making such contracts with the companies which not only install solar lights but keep them maintaining. “In order to avoid theft of the lights and ensure quality work I have involved deputy commissioners by constituting monitoring committees under them.” he said.

The chief minister in his concluding remarks urged the ACD (development) to further strengthen his monitoring system to ensure quality of the schemes and keep him sending his reports with necessary recommendation.