Rs3bn master drainage project hits controversy

Published September 26, 2017
More than three fourths portion of the Umerkot garage road is seen dug up for the drainage project, leaving little space for vehicles.—Dawn
More than three fourths portion of the Umerkot garage road is seen dug up for the drainage project, leaving little space for vehicles.—Dawn

MIRPURKHAS: Recently launched Rs3 billion master drainage project for the city has mired in controversy with chairman of Mirpurkhas municipal committee (MCM) and officials concerned of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) accusing the Sindh government of bulldozing the project without bothering to consult them.

MCM chairman Farooque Jameel Durrani told Dawn on Monday that no consultation had been made with the municipal authorities before or after the project was awarded to contractor, RCC Consultants and Architects, for execution about three months ago.

He said the Sindh government had launched the project unilaterally. The contractor had ruthlessly dug up with excavators the Umerkot garage road in Satellite Town in front of the Government Comprehensive Higher Secondary School for laying sewers and substandard material was being used in the construction, he said.

Mr Durrani demanded that higher authorities should immediately take notice of the destruction of metalled roads of the city without taking the municipal authorities into confidence.

The project was launched without consulting MCM, SSGC

An official of SSGC Mirpurkhas region, who wished not to be named, disclosed that the contractor had dug up the above-mentioned road and other thoroughfares in the city without consulting or informing the engineers concerned of the gas company. Fortunately, the main gas line laid under the roads had so far not suffered any major damage in the excavation work, he added.

Shahid Iqbal, a project official, rejected as untrue MCM chairman and SSGC official’s allegations and claimed that consultation with the departments concerned had been made before the launch of the project.

He said the master project had been designed for 25 years, which would reduce number of pumping stations to 14 from 18 after completion. In the first phase, he said, Rs1,500 million would be released for the project to lay 68,000 feet drainage lines in different parts of the city and Satellite Town.

He said that SLD-II main nullah of Umerkot ring road would be 8,700 feet long and eight feet wide while SLD main nullah, which had been completed, was 4,500 feet long.

He said that Dhoro Puran, natural rain drain, had been desilted with excavators up till public school. However, sources said, that the width of the natural drain at Mir Sher Mohammad village near the city had been shrunk, which might create bottleneck in flow of rainwater during rains.

The provincial government had approved the Rs3 billion million three-year master drainage project and included it in the annual development plan after great efforts put in by PPP senator Hari Ram Kishori Lal.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017

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