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KARACHI: The Sindh legislature was on Thursday informed that a firm had qualified for the award of contract for the master plan of the ambitious Zulfikarabad project, however, the matter remained in limbo because the issue was pending in court.

The house was informed about this during Question Hour of the day’s session, which proved to be another noisy affair when Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, in the chair, opted for the first time during the tenure of the current mandate of the assembly to ask the sergeant-at-arms to show an opposition member the door.

The altercation initially began when the chair asked another opposition member Khurram Sher Zaman belonging to the PTI not to make a speech on the pretext of asking a supplementary question.

That conversation proved to be the prequel of another heated argument when Muhammad Hussain of the MQM-P won the chair’s nod to ask a supplementary question.

Instead, he engaged in not-so-pleasant exchange of words with Ms Raza.

Earlier, another MQM-P member Mehfoozyar Khan had asked the chair to expunge a word ‘barking’ which she had used a day before from proceedings of the house.

The chair told Mr Hussain such conversation was not suitable for the Question Hour. However, the exchange of words continued until the chair asked the sergeant-at-arms to show the member the door.

However, the day was saved when Mr Hussain sat back on his seat and ended the argument.

Earlier, Senior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro, on behalf of the chief minister, who holds the portfolio of the services, general administration and coordination department, said some eight consulting firms had taken part in the bidding in April 2012.

“In response to our advertisement for expression of interest for pre-qualification of the consultants for the ZDA (Zulfikarabad Development Authority) published in daily newspapers on April 1, 2012, eight consulting firms had participated in the bidding process out of which six firms were selected as per SPPRA (Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) Rules 2010,” said the minister while replying to a question asked by MPA Heer Soho.

Ultimately, he said, after due process M/s Umer Munshi Associates (UMA) qualified for award of the contract. The details or terms of reference of the agreement were: design review and supervision of expressway and bridge over River Indus at Dhardhari (Category-1); and, other consultancy assignments under general consultancy for ZDA projects including master planning of the ZDA (Category-2).

“Later on, the matter became sub judice in the High Court of Sindh, Karachi and the status quo order was issued on 18-09-2013. The status quo order has been removed by the SHC on 18-05-2016, however, the case is still sub judice,” he said.

To another question asked by Moin Pirzada, asking for the number of posts filled in the SGACD on urban quota from January 1, 2008 to March 15, 2013, Mr Khuhro said more than 700 posts were filled. They included 53 assistants of BS-14, 207 junior clerk-cum typists, 55 drivers, 17 dispatch riders, three bearers, four cooks, 330 naib qasids, two gardeners and 48 sanitary workers.

MPA Khairunnisa Mughal asked whether there were some criteria for fixing the quota of flour mills in the province.

The minister explained the criteria for fixing of wheat quota adopted in Sindh. He said it was some ‘body formula’. Giving details of the body formula, he said the number of roller bodies considered for the release of wheat quota to the mill would be six if the total number of bodies in a mill was eight or above. The roller bodies would be five for seven bodies in a mill. Similarly, four roller bodies for six bodies in a mill, three for five, two each for four and three bodies in a mill and one for the mill which had two bodies.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2018