KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the additional advocate general to submit a detailed statement reflecting the annual development funds allocated to District Larkana from 2008 to-date.
The direction came on a petition of a Larkana resident seeking an inquiry over the misappropriation and embezzlement of Rs12 billion funds allocated for development and beautification of the Larkana city project.
PPP's women wing leader and MNA Faryal Talpur, who is also the sister of party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, former town Nazim Dr. Shafqat Hussain Soomro, former law minister Ayaz Soomro, former DCO, deputy commissioner, project director of the Larkana Development Project and others have been named as respondents in the petition.
Petitioner Bashir Ahmed, a resident of Larkana, submitted in the petition that after the 2008 elections, apart from other development schemes, development and beautification of Larkana city had been announced. For the development work, including roads and drainage lines, in the city, Rs12 billion funds had been allocated.
He alleged that roads were made and other development works done without any proper planning and substandard material was used in the development project due to corruption by the respondents.
The petitioner pointed out that mostly reconstructed roads were destroyed by rains while several roads had got cracks at different places. Also no roads of the Larkana city had been improved or widened. He said that citizens of Larkana were facing hardships in the shape of traffic jams, polluted air, stagnant sewerage water on roads and frequent accidents. He alleged that internal drains and roads had been made with substandard material and major portion of the grant usurped and nobody had taken the pains to check the condition of the Larkana city.
He further alleged that large sums of money had been misappropriated from the Annual Development Program of Larkana adding that Rs90 billion had been granted till now in the shape of ADP and hardly a few billion were spent.
The court was prayed to order the constitution of a committee comprising honest town planners and other technical persons to probe into the misappropriation, ill-planning and embezzlement of public money meant for the Larkana Development Project on a large scale by the respondent in the name of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Additional advocate general Mustafa Mahesar denied the allegations of the petitioner and submitted that the petitioner’s allegations were totally exaggerated and aimed to defame the government.
The SHC’s division bench, headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, observed that the government has to give a statement as how many funds had been utilized in Larkana for development work as Rs90 billion had not been spent in the entire province during the last eight years.
The CJ remarked that Larkana was the city of the ruling party leadership but after several years, the infrastructure of the city was in a dilapidated condition.
The court directed the law officer to submit details of annual development funds allocated for Larkana and adjourned the hearing for date to be fixed by the office.
It is pertinent to mention that the petition was filed in January 2013 at the Circuit bench Larkana but the matter could only be taken up for only one time at Larkana. The matter was subsequently transferred to the SHC principal seat and notices were issued to the respondents.