Regional

CM Sindh orders inquiry against contracting firm, recovery of released funds

By: Sawan Khaskheli
MITHI: Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister, Justice (Retd) Maqbool Baqar visited 2 MGD River Osmos Plant Mithi and 1.5 MGD RO Islamkot but both the plants were observed as non-functional.
CM ordered the completion of pending inquiries against the contracting firm so that the firm could be prosecuted and recovery of the funds amounting to Rs380 million and Rs. 80 million of electricity liabilities could be recovered from the defaulting firm.
The CM on Wednesday morning started his visit to Tharparkar district and was accompanied by caretaker Information Minister Ahmad Shah.
On his official trip, Chief Minister visited the solar desalination plant complex, Mithi where the project, the RO plant observed the abandoned.
On the inquiries, he was informed that the plant had been non-operational for the last eight years and mostly the solar plates installed on the rooftop were missing. The CM was also apprised that Asia’s largest solar desalination plant complex, Mithi, was run by the Energy Department and Inaugurated in January 2015.
The plant had to provide drinking water in addition to producing one megawatt of electricity, benefitting the people of Mithi city besides the other 100 villages.
Later it was handed over to PHED Tharparkar in running condition, but due to negligence, the machinery was rusted.
The Chief Minister was also informed that the contracting firm, The Oslo was given the contract to run the plant but they left the plant in unfunctional condition leaving the liability of Rs.80 million electricity bill. The plant has been made functional on a generator just to test how it could be made functional. The CM was told that the plant needed the replacement of all the membranes and replacement of some of the rusted equipment.
But, on top of it, the electricity bill of Rs.80 million has to be cleared before taking the task of making it functional. The CM ordered a forensic audit of the expenditures incurred by the private firm, The Oslo on the plant.
Meanwhile, the CM visited the 1.5 MGD Islamkot RO Plant inaugurated in January 2015. Sindh Coal Authority installed the plant for Rs388.6174 million. The plant has a 650 KVA transformer, a 650 KVA generator and eight tube wells. It is designed to produce 25,000 gallons per hour. The plant has been seemed non-functional for a long time.
To a question, the CM was told that an amount of Rs380 million was provided to the contracting firm, but the plant has hardly functioned.The CM was told that the district Tharparkar has 834 RO plants, out of them 555 were out of order. The CM expressed his extreme displeasure and ordered the completion of pending inquiries against Oslo. He said that the company not only be prosecuted but all the funds released to it be recovered.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister visited Govt Boys High School, Islamkot which has an enrolment of 1671 but had only 19 teachers. The CM visited the classrooms where no child could answer the basic questions of English language and science.
The CM called the director of Education but he had never inspected the school. The Lab of the school was in shambles and no practical was conducted. The computer lab had computers but found without any IT teacher. Some computer systems have been lying packed in the Lab since 2008. The CM said that the school should have a teacher for 30 students but the director never bothered to visit the school, therefore the school is facing an acute shortage of students where ultimately, the children are suffering. The CM talked to the Minister Education and Secretary of School Education and expressed his extreme displeasure.
The Chief Minister also paid a surprise visit to RHC Islamkot being operated by PPHI. The in emergency ward a patient was lying on the bed with an oxygen mask on his face. When the CM checked the mask the oxygen cylinder was not working. At this the CM expressed his extreme displeasure and warned the in charge of the RHC to behave, otherwise, he would cancel the PPHI contract if such frauds were made.
In the children ward the patients (children) were facing a shortage of medicines. When the record was checked the RHC had a sanctioned strength of 47 doctors but only 18 were working there. The RHC had 150 OPDs of children daily. The CM directed the Director General to personally visit all the PPHI facilities and give him a detailed report of their performance. If the PPHI was being given additional funds they would be recovered, he added.
The chief minister on the way visited Dr TF Jamal Ventry Dispensary and checked their OPD record. The CM was told that they were attending to the patients/cattle at their home upon receiving the complaint.The CM was told that Islamkot has a vast population of different cattle. It has 143445 cows, 7866 buffalos, 304716 sheep, 407404 goats, 24358 camels, 43730 donkeys and 900 horses.
The Chief Minister visited Marvis’ well at Bhalva village. He went to Marvi’s well which still had water. The water was taken out of the well and shown to the CM. He visited the museum of Marvi and saw the clothes, and utensils used by Marvi.

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