KARACHI: Lack of interest of provincial lawmakers in the proceedings on Wednesday marked the Question Hour session in the Sindh Assembly as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf [PTI] members who had submitted written questions and the relevant minister were not present in the house.

PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman and Jamaluddin Siddiqui had posed three written questions each to Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah.

While parliamentary secretary Salim Baloch was in the house to furnish replies to the lawmakers’ written and verbal questions in the absence of the minister, none of the PTI members present in the house opted to put the queries for replies on behalf of their absent colleagues during the Question Hour.

PTI’s Zaman, who often complains to Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani that the assembly secretariat never incorporates his questions on the agenda, had questions regarding fake appointments in the local government department, post of director general of the Malir Development Authority and city cemeteries.

His colleague had asked the minister about the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, growing demand for water supply in Karachi and the steps taken by the provincial government to resolve the water shortage issue.

All six questions of the two absent PTI members were deferred by the speaker as none of the PTI members came forward to put the questions in the house on behalf of Mr Zaman and Mr Siddiqui.

Only one out of the seven written questions on the assembly agenda was asked in the house that had otherwise very low attendance of both the treasury and opposition members, although the session began with a delay of one and a half hours.

In reply to a question asked by Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal member Syed Abdul Rasheed, parliamentary secretary Salim Baloch informed the house that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board had sanctioned two water connections of six-inch diameters each to Bahria Town.

He said Bahria Town was charged Rs53.238 million each for the two connections and the quantity of average drawing water in a month was 24 million gallons.

The parliamentary secretary further said that the average monthly bill of a connection to Bahria Town was Rs7.512m.

Answering a verbal question, he said Bahria Town was given the water connections by the KWSB in accordance with the existing rules.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019