SC summons Sindh chief secretary in Nai Gaj dam hearing


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday summoned the chief secretary of Sindh on May 23 in a hearing pertaining to the construction of Nai Gaj dam.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Azmat Saeed issued orders to record statement of the chief secretary regarding construction of the dam project in district Dadu of Sindh.

The court in March had ordered immediate construction of Nai Gaj dam and directed the federal and provincial governments to ensure timely provision of funds to the Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for the purpose and asked the planning division and secretary irrigation Sindh to submit a compliance report.

In April hearing, additional advocate general Sindh while objecting to Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec’s) decision regarding the project said that the provincial government could not pay the 50 percent cost of the project. However, the government had consensus on Water and Power Development Authority’s proposal pertaining to the construction of dam.

“Chief Secretary of Sindh should testify before the court that the people of Dadu not required water for irrigation and they have no need of water,” Justice Azmat Saeed remarked while blasting the attitude of the government of Sindh.

“The court will review its earlier orders after statement of the chief secretary,” Justice Saeed said. “The bench can also review its order of construction of the dam,” the judge said.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that the provincial government has now refused to accept the decision of ECNEC with regard to construction of the dam project. “The cost of the construction of the project rising with the passing time,” the Justice said.

“The earlier cost of the project was Rs.26 billion, which has now soared to 46 billion,” Deputy Attorney General informed the court.

The court adjourned the hearing till May 23.

In an earlier hearing deputy attorney general told the court that Sindh government had to pay 50 percent of the additional costs of the project. The dam costs Rs46 billion while the Sindh government needed to pay only Rs10 billion.