DADU: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has claimed that the Sehwan-Dadu section of the Indus Highway could not be completed because the federal government did not put in its 50 per cent share in the Rs14 billion project.
Speaking to reporters on the last leg of his three-day visit to Sehwan on Monday, he said the project was approved to save people’s lives as the bumpy and damaged section of the highway had caused many accidents which, in several cases, caused heavy loss of life.
He said the Sindh government had already spent its share of Rs7bn but the work for its completion had stopped for want of release of federal government’s share. He said it was more painful for him as he belonged to Sehwan and was helpless despite being the CM.
He argued that if the federal government could not release the required funds, it should reimburse the Rs7bn spent by Sindh government to enable it to complete the project.
Mr Shah pointed out that Federal Minister for Communication Murad Saeed had recently visited Karachi but did not bother to meet him. He said he intended to take up the funding issue with the federal minister.
In reply to a question, the chief minister said that lawmakers, ministers and activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were dreaming of dislodging him. “Some of them saw the Sindh Assembly dissolved and some others repeatedly saw toppling of the provincial government in their dreams,” he said, adding that many of them kept saying that he [CM] was about to be jailed.
They must keep in mind that the PPP government had come to power in Sindh in genuinely contested elections and nobody could snatch its mandate with unconstitutional means.
The chief minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken a U-turn on the issue of Sindh inspector general’s transfer despite the fact that he himself had agreed to the provincial government’s request after it was endorsed by the Sindh cabinet.
He said he was not satisfied with the performance of IG Dr Kaleem Imam. He pointed out that an MPA and a journalist were murdered but police were groping in the dark in both cases.
Speaking at different gatherings and to local reporters in Tando Shahbaz and Jhangara Bajara villages, CM Murad Ali Shah that environmental experts were told to recommend measures for the rehabilitation of Manchhar Lake and ways to restore its lost feature of ‘floating village’.
In reply to a question, he said his government could not fix support price of wheat due to a shortage of funds. He explained that before procuring wheat crop of the current season, the government would have to give a subsidy, He urged the federal government to release the funds required for the process and to undertake development schemes.
Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2020