QUETTA - Expressing deep concerns over the recent raise in petroleum products, the Balochistan Assembly approved an adjournment motion to hold a thorough debate in this connection.
The House also adopted a resolution on water shortage and alleged misappropriation in Great Water Project in Quetta. The session started after two days break with Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali in the chair about one hour late from its fixed schedule, here on Friday.
JUI member Shahida Rauf took the floor and moved an adjournment motion over recent surge in petroleum products. “The price of petrol is declining in international market but contrary to it, the price of petrol is mounting which has multiplied the miseries of the people,” she said on admissibility of the motion. After a short while, the House approved adjournment motion for debate on Oct 7.
Terming the water shortage in Quetta city as a serious issue, PML-Q parliamentary leader Sheik Jaffar Khan Mandokhel tabled a resolution in this connection. He said in order to meet the water scarcity issue, a great water scheme was approved and under that scheme dams were to be constructed in Quetta and its suburbs. “Instead of constructing dams, 1,500 km pipelines were laid down throughout the city,” he added. He demanded the provincial government to provide drinking water facility on priority basis and soon dams should be constructed.
Speaking on the admissibility of the resolution, Jaffar Khan said the federal government had started a water scheme of Rs7.5 billion in 2003 to address water shortage in the city, but the issue remained unresolved. He said that under that project dams were to be constructed but the amount was mismanaged and embezzled by laying pipelines only. “After reviewing the project, its cost has reached to Rs25 billion,” he said, adding that such practices would defame Balochistan.
Lawmaker Majid Khan said there was serious shortage of water but the focus was on lying pipelines because through this the amount could be embezzled. “Pipeline has been laid to such long area as if they would supply water to Russia,” he remarked.
During the debate, CM Dr Abdul Malik Baloch directed the anti-corruption department to start investigation into the project.
The House also approved another resolution tabled by PkMAP leader Manzoor Kakar said the 12-diameter gas pipeline which is being laid for the gas supply to Quetta from Mari Petroleum and Gas Company Zarghoon Gas Company was unsafe. He said the project was not in the best interest of the people.
It was said in the resolution the contract was given to a non-local company, depriving the local contractors of their rights. Similarly, it was said the mechanism to provide gas royalty to the local people was not clearly explained due which there was disenchantment among the people. It was demanded in the resolution that the contract should be cancelled and given to local contractors.
Meanwhile, a 14- member delegation of the Punjab Assembly visited the Balochistan Assembly and witnessed the proceedings. Chief Minister Dr Malik and senior provincial minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal welcomed the delegates.