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KARACHI: Terming ‘unfortunate’ the frequent transfer of its officers facing numerous complaints, the Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh on Tuesday noted that the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) was doing this in order to shift the responsibility and to save the delinquent officials.

The commission, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Amir Hani Muslim, said that it was very unusual that some concept plans had been submitted but despite objections buildings were being constructed.

The commission said that the SBCA director general was clueless in this regard.

Hyderabad mayor, HDA chief summoned today

It summoned the SBCA chief for Wednesday (today) to explain his position and directed him to ensure the presence of the officers responsible for allowing unauthorised constructions.

Meanwhile, the commission issued notices to the managing directors of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, SITE and the industries secretary for Nov 14 on an application of a Lyari MPA with regard to water issues in the locality.

Command & control system to be outsourced

The Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) and a Chinese sanitation company working in Karachi informed the commission that a command and control system would be made functional within 15 days and both sides agreed to outsource it.

The commission directed the Changyi Kangjie Sanitation Engineering Company, which has been tasked with disposal of garbage in South and East districts, to complete the process of washing and painting dust bins and containers within three weeks.

Previously, on the directive of the commission, the Chinese firm and SSWMB held a meeting at the office of the board’s MD to discuss the issues regarding fulfilment of the contract after the board complained that the contractor was not honouring terms.

After the meeting, the MD submitted a report while the lawyer for the contractor requested for two-day time to go through the report.

On Tuesday, comments were filed by the Chinese contractor along with an affidavit. However, the board chief said that the comments in substance were the same.

The commission in its order observed that both sides agreed to outsource the command and control system and it would be made functional within 15 days as per a promise made during the last hearing.

It also sought a compliance report from the contractor about washing and painting dustbins and containers, adding that there was a consensus between both parties on other issues.

Conversion of residential plot by HMC

The commission expressed resentment over conversion of a residential plot into commercial in Hyderabad and summoned the mayor, municipal commissioner, director general of the Hyderabad Development Authority, regional director of the SBCA Hyderabad for Wednesday.

The local government secretary was also asked to be in attendance.

It also issued a show-cause notice to the regional director of the SBCA for not appearing before the commission despite issuance of his summons.

The commission observed that how the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC) could allow conversion of a residential plot into a commercial one, as the land in question did not belong to the HMC but the municipality was the trustee whereas the land belonged to the state.

It added that the nature of the land could not be converted by the HMC or by any other authority. It also stayed any construction on the plot.

Meanwhile, the commission also summoned the energy secretary and the Sindh Coal Authority DG on Wednesday (today) regarding the issue of electricity connections at three reverse osmosis (RO) plants in Tharparkar due to non-payment.

The chief engineer of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company informed the commission that the three RO plants had been energised but power connections to remaining three plants were not provided because of lack of payment. He said that the SCA had to purchase a transformer, but it failed to do so.

The commission summoned the secretary as well as the coal authority’s DG to explain as to why payments had not been made.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018

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