Revealing letter: Sindh Coal Authority draws court scrutiny

CJP takes suo motu of irregularities in SCA

Hasnaat Malik October 10, 2016
CJP takes suo motu of irregularities in SCA. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Monday took suo motu notice of massive corruption in the Sindh Coal Authority (SCA).

The notice has been taken over an anonymous letter, which has been written to Justice Amir Hani Muslim against corrupt elements working on deputation in the provincial energy department.

The letter contends that the court’s 2013 judgment against illegal deputations has not been complied with in the Sindh Coal Authority, adding a Hydrologist Arif Hussain Laghari, who is originally from the Sindh Arid Zone Development Authority (SAZDA), is still illegally working in the SCA.

Arif Hussain Laghari is looking after the affairs of the Reverse Osmosis (RO) water plants in Thar, Badin and Thatta districts, in addition to looking after administration and financial affairs in the SCA.

“The posting of Mr Laghari in the SCA made a shining destiny for him and he has become an instrument in looting crores [millions] of rupees on account of operating and maintenance [costs] of [the] RO plants for providing drinking water to the people of Thar, Badin and Thatta districts, where underground water is brackish,” says the letter.

The letter further contended that Mr Laghari has escalated the cost of maintaining ROs to the tune of 20 to 40 crore rupees annually with the connivance of Director General Sindh Coal Authority Danish Saeed and other subordinate staff.

“Sir, you are aware that the people of Thar are longing for a drop of water; whereas the record shows that 118 RO plants are providing water round-the-clock and thereby earning money more and more.”

It is further submitted that the officer concerned openly claims that he has the support from Dubai and no one seemed to have power to remove him from the SCA.

Likewise, serious allegations of corruption have also been levelled in the letter against the DG SCA as he visits Dubai twice in a month on account of inspection of pipes required for the Rs43 billion scheme to supply water to Thar and manoeuvring travelling expenses by the party by whom bogus payment is made on account of operation and maintenance of the RO plants per month.

It is alleged that out of 118 RO plants, only a few are in working condition, but SCA authorities have been regularly claiming bills for the rest, and also keeping the chief secretary and the energy department secretary in the dark and intimating them wrong bills.

It is demanded that an independent inquiry should be ordered, and if audit reports of only the last two, three years are carried out, then they would reveal the clear picture.

A copy of the executive engineer’s resignation has also been attached with the letter. In his resignation, the executive engineer stated that he resigned under protest due to unlawful/illegal pressure and the threat from the DG SCA for wrongdoings for public exchequer.

Executive Engineer Zamir Ahmad Sheikh also stated in its letter that he also reserves the right to knock the door of court of law/agencies regarding wrongdoings which the DG SCA has done.

After going through the letter, the chief justice has ordered to fix the matter for hearing on October 25. The court has also issued notices to the Advocate General Sindh, secretary, Energy Department Sindh, Sindh Coal Authority director general Danish Saeed and Hydrologist Arif Hussain Laghari.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2016.


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