- Murad seeks report on losses to paddy crop
- Progress report on non-functional water supply and drainage schemes presented to CM
KARACHI: Newly-elected Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday was presented guard of honour upon his arrival at the Chief Minister House.
The CM inspected the honour and was then introduced to the staff of the House.
Syed Murad Ali Shah is serving second consecutive term as the Sindh CM after he took oath on August 17.
Acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani administered the oath to the 33rd Sindh chief minister and other cabinet members.
The ceremony was attended by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PPP Members of National Assembly (MNA) and Members of Provincial Assembly (MPA), diplomats, representatives of business community and others.
The chief minister secured his earlier position with 97 votes against opponent Shaharyar Mahar who bagged 61 votes on Grand Democratic Alliance’s (GDA) ticket.
Earlier on August 16, PPP’s candidate Murad Ali Shah was re-elected as the Sindh CM.
During the session chaired by newly-elected Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, members of provincial assembly cast the votes for their favourite candidate.
After the counting, PPP’s Murad Ali Shah was declared victorious with 97 votes while opposition’s candidate Shahryar Mahar faced defeat.
Addressing the House, Murad Ali Shah claimed that a two-third majority of his party was snatched in election 2018.
Shah had thanked the members for trusting him and said that he has followed the footsteps of his father, who was also CM of Sindh. He asserted that the country was distributed after the death of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Bringing change in Pakistan is good, but people forget their history. They should also remember the black era of dictator Ziaul Haq, he had added.
The chief minister had said that people voted for PPP despite the negative propaganda and that PPP’s President Asif Ali Zardari took forward the country by raising the slogan of ‘Pakistan Khapay’.
I was criticised for focusing only on urban areas but development can be seen in other parts of Karachi, he had said.
Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah expressing his serious reservations on water shortage in Sindh during Kharif Season has directed Irrigation department to submit a detailed report of the losses caused to the sowing of paddy crop.
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting on water issues, both irrigational and drinking, here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah, Local Government Secretary Khalid Hyder Shah, Public Health Engineering Department Secretary Saeed Mangnijo, Project Director K-IV Asad Zamin and representative of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).
The CM said that sowing of paddy crop in Sindh starts by the second week of May but this year due to acute water shortage, which was estimated at 40 per cent went up to 60 per cent, the growers became very late. He added that those who had started cultivation in time suffered a huge loss as their lands seedlings could not receive water.
He directed Secretary Irrigation to give him a detailed report within a week about the losses caused to paddy crop due to water shortage.
Jamal Shah told the chief minister that water position started improving from July 15. Briefing the CM on current water position, he said that on Sunday, Upstream Guddu had been recorded 248175 cusecs while downstream it was 220266. He added upstream Sukkur water position was 198770 and downstream 143800 cusecs, Upstream Kotri 51840 cusecs and downstream 10080 cusecs have been recorded.
The CM said that the water position was considerably better now and directed the secretary Irrigation to ensure proper release of water in the irrigation system of Larkana, Dadu, Badin and Thatta. He also asked him to ensure the provision of water to the tail-enders. “Why were cries for water growing when the water position is better?” he asked and went on saying to manage it properly.
Mangnijo briefed the CM that there were 220 on-going water and sewerage development schemes in the province, of which 66 have been completed while 26 others were at the advancing stage and would be completed by September 2018.
Talking about 547 non-functional water supply and drainage schemes phase-I, he said that on the directives of the CM’s first tenure, rehabilitation work had started. He said 62 schemes have been rehabilitated and put in operation while work on 18 others was near completion. He added that tendering process for 391 schemes was completed and contracts would be awarded shortly.
The CM was told that the tendering process for the establishment of 17 water testing laboratories had been processed. The CM directed the secretary to award contracts by the end of this month.
It may be noted that there were 1950 water supply/reverse osmosis (RO) plant schemes which were being converted on solar system. Due to electricity issues, 950 schemes were either un-functional or working partially. This is why Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah during his previous tenure had decided to convert them on solar energy.
In the third phase, 700 new of water supply/RO plants schemes are being constructed on solar system.
The CM directed water board to ensure proper supply of water to Karachiites during eid days. “I know the issues of power outages and others but make sure there should be no complaint,” he directed the KWSB.
The CM said that he would review the K-IV project in detail after Eid.