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Jam Sadiq Bridge about to collapse, claims KMC chief
01-15-2013, 12:51 PM
Post: #1
Jam Sadiq Bridge about to collapse, claims KMC chief
Karachi : The Jam Sadiq Bridge, which links the city with Korangi, is on the verge of collapsing, the administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Sindh Assembly on Thursday.

Muhammad Hussain Syed told the members of the committee that he had brought that piece of information to the notice of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan.

He said there used to be a time when as many as 60 trailers were found to be parked on the bridge.

In response to Syed, PAC Chairman Sardar Jam Tamachi Unar said the bridge could not bear such a heavy load without first strengthening its structure.

Syed said the bridge needed to be restored, and recalled that the federal government had reserved Rs2.4 billion for some of Karachi’s vital projects, including restoration of the bridge.

However, the Centre has not released the funds, which is an injustice with Sindh, he added.He estimated that at least Rs500 million were needed for restoration of the bridge.However, he claimed, all other bridges and flyovers of the city are intact and tenders have been invited for their repair.Metro’s water woes

The metropolitan is faced with water shortage of 400 million gallons per day (MGD) at present, the managing director (MD) of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) told the PAC in response to a question regarding the water woes of the people of the city.

Misbahuddin Farid told the committee that shortage of water in the locality of Defence was severe probably because of the deteriorating law and order situation in other parts of the metropolitan.

He said residence had increased in extensions of different phases of the Defence area where water was being provided through tankers.

However, he added, the KWSB has reduced the number of water tankers from over 14,000 to 6,000 mostly because of receiving complaints about irregularities, nepotism and corruption in the water tanker service.

Farid said another reason for reducing the number of water tankers was the fact that the tankers did not serve the poor.

He said the slum areas were also faced with severe water shortage because the population in many localities, such as Manzoor Colony, Baldia and Orangi, had increased up to 10 times over.

Besides, he added, the slum residents do not pay for water.

Talking about the hydrant in Muslimabad that was closed in accordance with the verdict of the Sindh High Court on the complaints of the residents, the KWSB chief said the water utility was planning to reopen the hydrant.

When Unar asked Farid if the water board planned to file a review petition, the latter did not provide the committee with a satisfactory reply.

The KWSB chief said that in accordance with the directives of the then city mayor, the water utility had opened a hydrant in each town because around 14,000 water tankers were taking water from the Muslimabad hydrant alone.

He said that except from the East District, especially from Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the KWSB had received complaints regarding water shortage.
The basic problem of the consumers is that the water requirement of the citizens is more than what is being supplied to them, he added.

He said that at present, around 650 MGD of water was being supplied to the metropolitan through the sources of the Indus River and the Hub Dam.
To overcome the water shortage, the K-III project was launched in the recent past, which provided 100 MGD of water to the city, he added.

The KWSB chief said that another water project, popularly known as K-IV, had been approved, which would provide 600 MGD of water to the metropolitan in different phases.

He said that in the first phase, which would probably be completed in the following four years, 260 MGD of water would be supplied.Talking about another project of the water board, known as S-III, he said the project would treat wastewater before it was discharge in the sea.

The treated wastewater will also be recycled and then provided to industries for their use, he added.

KMC official suspendedWhen the PAC had started reviewing the audit of the City District Government Karachi (now KMC), the Karachi Development Authority and the KWSB, Sindh Local Councils Audit Director Muhammad Ali S Bukhari had informed the members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) that the KMC was supposed to provide the working papers seven days ago.

However, the papers were received on Wednesday evening and they did not contain the comments of the audit.

KMC Administrator Syed said that being the principal account officer, the Sindh local government (LG) secretary should have held a pre-PAC meeting, but no such meeting was convened.

However, MPA Ghulam Mujadid Isran, a member of the PAC, did not subscribe to Syed’s views.

Isran showed Syed a copy of the LG secretary’s letter, dated January 1, 2013, which clearly stated that deputy commissioners (DCs) or administrators were the principal account officers of their respective councils or corporations; therefore, the DCs or administrators were responsible before the PAC under Section 27(2)© of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012.

In response to Isran, the administrator admitted that there was some fault on the KMC’s part.

He said he had suspended the internal audit director of the KMC for negligence on Wednesday.

On the directives of PAC Chairman Unar, Syed called the LG special secretary who informed him that she could not attend the PAC meeting because her department had not received prior notification regarding it.

Besides, she added, her department has not made any preparations to respond to the queries of the audit body.

It was also stated that the LG secretary could not attend the PAC meeting because he was feeling unwell.

MPA Muhammad Moin Aamir Pirzada, a member of the PAC, said that the response of the LG special secretary should be made a part of the minutes of the meeting.

KWSB MD Farid admitted that it was his fault that there was a delay in the provision of the working papers.

Since the KMC and KWSB chiefs sought more time to respond to the audit paras, Isran said the PAC was the highest forum of the province and its time should not be wasted.

However, the committee accepted the request of the KMC and KWSB chiefs and granted them a week’s time for preparing a satisfactory response.
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