KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Thursday decided to build 6,500 housing units over an area of 248 acres to resettle the families whose homes were removed from three major stormwater drains (nullahs) in the Malir Development Authority area.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who presided over the meeting, said that the Pakistan Peoples Party chairman had categorically directed the provincial government to resettle the affected families removed from the Gujjar, Mahmoodabad and Orangi nullahs. “I have already allocated Rs1 billion for the development of 248 acres handed over by the MDA to the local government [department],” he told the cabinet.
The meeting was held at CM House on Thursday and was attended by provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, besides Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and other officials concerned.
Presenting two proposals, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah said that the affected people of the three nullahs might either be given properly developed 80-sq-yard plots and a substantial amount to build their houses or their houses might be built by the LG department.
He said that the land measuring 248 acres and the amount of Rs1 billion approved by the CM had already been handed over to the department.
Cabinet okays construction of 6,500 units on 248-acre land, earmarks Rs1bn for development
The cabinet thoroughly discussed the matter and most of the ministers were in favour of the proposal to build 6,500 housing units for the affected people as directed by the PPP chairman.
Information Minister Sharjeel Memon apprehended that handing over the plots to the affected people could start real estate business activities in the areas, therefore, the houses should be got built through experienced and well-reputed firms to ensure provision of elegant accommodations to the affected families.
The CM directed his Law Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab and the advocate general to approach the Supreme Court for getting the Bahria Town money, deposited in the court, so that works on the housing units could be expedited.
He also directed the LG department to start development works by providing utility services to the project site.
LG Minister Nasir Shah, in reply to a question, told the cabinet that the affected people were being given a monthly rent of Rs15,000 each. “The project would cost around Rs10 billion, and its PC-I has been approved by the chief minister,” he added.
Houses for flood-affected people
Revenue Minister Makhdoom Mahboob Zaman informed the cabinet that the houses that collapsed in the recent heavy rains and floods were constructed on government land. He added that the Board of Revenue, on chief minister’s directives, carried out an exercise and found that the plots of the collapsed houses could be regularised under Gothabad Scheme, Gothabad Housing programme, regularisation of the village programme and the Katchi Abadis Act.
The cabinet decided to regularise the houses, as per their category, so that the beneficiaries could be given money for the construction of their house under the ongoing Peoples Housing Programme.
CM Shah directed the chief secretary to issue an order to the deputy commissioners concerned to expedite the regularisation of the plots at the earliest so that the affected people could be given benefit.
Special investigation allowance
The cabinet discussed the proposal of introducing a Special Investigation Allowance for the investigation officers (IOs) of criminal cases, particularly those of heinous crimes.
It was pointed out that on an average, an IO investigated 57 criminal cases in a year. The Balochistan government’s CID pays a special allowance of 40pc on the minimum pay scale of 2011 subject to a ceiling of Rs6,000 a month.
The CM said that the Sindh government intended to lead other provinces to strengthen police investigation, and the provincial police chief had rationalised the demand from Rs2.519 billion to Rs1.979 billion.
The cabinet approved grant of Special Investigation Allowance at one initial pay scale of 2022 to investigation officers. Its financial impact would be around Rs442.471 million.
Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023
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