Water theft to be non-bailable offence: Chief Minister

Karachi, May 25, 2015 (PPI-OT): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that PPP government and its leadership has always given ownership to Karachi. “We strive hard to solve public problems in this city of megalopolis. That’s why I released Rs160 million last week to provide water tankers free of cost to the water-starved areas of Karachi.”

This he said while talking to a delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) led by opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hassan. The others who were in the delegation were Syed Sardar Ahmed, Mohammad Hussain, MNA Kanwar Naveed Jameel and Khalid Ahmed. The chief minister was assisted by his cabinet members, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sharjeel Inam Memon.

The chief minister welcomed the MQM delegation and said, “like our (PPP) leadership MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain was also concerned about water scarcity in the city. He talked to me last night on this matter and said that his team would give some suggestions to redress the public grievances,” he said and added that it was a good move on his part that MQM was coming up to strengthen the hands of his government to solve the basic problem of water shortage.

Leader of opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hassan said that illegal hydrants should be closed and water theft through illegal connection be stopped. At this Minister for Information and Local Government Mr Sharjeel Inam Memon said that with the help of police and Rangers he has bulldozed over 120 illegal hydrants and removed a large number of illegal connections.

“We have already intensified operation against illegal hydrants and illegal water connections. Now I have given scanners for repair to detect illegal underground water connections and shortly would personally lead this drive,” he said and thanked MQM for supporting the government move. He also said that the FIRs have also been registered against the culprits operating illegal hydrants.

The MQM and PPP teams agreed to enact laws to declare water theft as a non-bailable offence. For the purpose the chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the assembly was not in session, therefore ordinance against water theft may be promulgated. For which draft would be prepared and exchanged with MQM delegation before its promulgation.

The MQM delegation urged the PPP government to launch 65 MGD project and complete it within a year. At this the Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he would arrange funds at any cost if the project is completed within a year. At this Local Government Minister Sharjeel Memon said that he had already worked out its tender and by first week of June its international tender would be invited. “This project has already been given priority and its documentation formalities are at completion stage,” he assured.

Talking about K-4 water supply project Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that in the current ADP Rs250 billion have been allocated and in the next ADPP another Rs250 billion would be earmarked. “In this way the Local government would have Rs5 billion in hand and the federal government would also be requested to allocate at least Rs3 billion as matching grant for the project.

At this Sharjeel Memon said that he had already started work on K-4 project. Its formal stone-lying ceremony would be performed by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah shortly. “I would also invited our MQM parliamentary delegation to jointly launch the project.

When Mr Azharul Hassa raised the issue of revamping of existing water supply projects Mr Sharjeel Memon said that rehabilitation work was already in progress. “I have restored all the pumping stations and have installed 18 meters on the main line to ascertain supply of water and line losses or water theft whatever it may be, so that necessary action could be taken. I am also working to restore back up pumping motors also,” he said.

Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and his team and MQM delegation agreed to hold meetings every month so that coordination could further be strengthened in future.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Press Secretary
Chief Minister House
Tel: +92-21-99202019
Cell: +92-300-3524057 (Ext: 336)