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August 16, 2018

Slow progress gets director and team of K-IV’s 65mgd water project sacked

Karachi

August 16, 2018

Taking notice over the slow progress of the 65mgd water scheme under the K-IV project, a Supreme Court-designated judicial commission on Wednesday ordered that its project director and his entire team be replaced.

Headed by Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim, the commission investigating the non-provision of potable water, proper sanitation facilities and healthy environment to Sindh’s people asked Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) Managing Director Khalid Mehmood Sheikh why the water project has not completed yet.

Sheikh, however, could not provide a satisfactory response to the judicial body’s question. The commission observed that the team under project director Zafar Palejo was not paying the required attention to the water scheme.

The judicial body directed the KWSB chief to replace the entire team as well as the project director because they have failed to deliver for a long time, delaying the K-IV Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme.

In an earlier hearing, regarding the realignment of the K-IV project, the judicial commission had said the work on the scheme needs to be expedited. The judicial body said the components that need to be installed and those that are missing in the PC-I should be processed through independent PCs in accordance with the rules.

The planning & development chairman said he will make efforts to see that the PC-I of the augmentation plan of the K-IV project is prepared and forwarded to the relevant department. The K-IV project director said that ancillary services and missing components are under preparation and they will be finalised and forwarded to the local government secretary.  

Vacant posts

Replying to a query about vacant positions in the KWSB, Sheikh informed the commission that the water board has a number of gazetted and non-gazetted vacancies.

The judicial body directed the KWSB chief to start recruitment through the competitive process of engaging reputable agencies such as the National Testing Service or the Institute of Business Administration as far as non-gazetted posts are concerned.

The commission told Sheikh to approach the Public Service Commission for the appointment of gazetted officers, for which the process should be completed without any delay and should be consistent with their budgetary limits.

RO plants

The judicial body ordered that all reverse-osmosis (RO) plants that are within the KWSB’s jurisdiction should be run, operated or outsourced for operational and maintenance purposes by the water board, while those in Hyderabad should be operated by the Water & Sanitation Agency Hyderabad.  

Salaries

The commission took notice of the non-payment of salaries of District Sujawal’s municipality employees who were transferred from the town committees of Mirpur Bathoro and Daro districts.

The judicial body directed the local government (LG) secretary to initiate departmental and criminal proceedings against former administrator Khalifo Nazeer who hashed up the salaries and pensions of the employees who were transferred to other wings of the municipality.

The commission directed the LG and finance secretaries to ensure that all transferred employees start receiving their salaries and pensions. The judicial body directed the LG secretary to ensure that the chairman immediately releases the money of the transferred employees, warning that failing to do so would be considered non-compliance.  

Illegal workers

With regard to unauthorised employees who were hired above the budgetary limits, the commission directed the LG secretary to carry out a detailed scrutiny of the workers, and the suitability and transparency of their appointments. The judicial body told him to send a relevant report to the government suggesting future course of action.  

Warrants

The commission issued bailable warrants for 12 factory owners for their no-show before the judicial body and directed the relevant senior superintendent of police to ensure their appearance in the next hearing.

The commission directed other factory owners to install treatment and smoke-emitting plants at their respective establishments within three months, failing to do which would result in the sealing of their units.

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