KARACHI: The Sindh Cabinet endorsed on Wednesday the provincial government’s decision to surrender the services of incumbent Inspector General of Police Allah Dino Khawaja to federal government, giving acting charge of the position to additional IG Abdul Majeed Dasti.
The meeting, chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, was briefed by Advocate General Zameer Ghumro about the Sindh High Court (SHC) Monday’s decision to suspend the PPP-led Sindh government’s decision, saying: “The court observed that the cabinet had not approved the decision of surrendering the services of IG police.”
Sources in the Sindh government said that after the cabinet decision, the provincial government would present the decision before the SHC and write another letter to the federal establishment division, Islamabad surrendering the services of the IG and recommending the same three names.
“The names of Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, Ghulam Qadir Thebo and Khadim Hussain Bhatti will be sent again,” an official in the provincial government department said.
AD Khawaja is willing to leave his office: source
On the other hand, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that AD Khowaja is willing to leave his office before he is transferred.
“He has started consultation with friends to leave this post. But he has been advised to continue till the next hearing,” one of the sources said.
“It is upto to the federal government whether or not it accepts the Sindh government’s recommendations [for the next IG] and issues the notification,” a senior official of the provincial government said.
The Sindh government, he also said, is ready to confront with the centre on the issue of IG post and realising that it is the chief minister’s prerogative to recommend the police chief and the federal authorities have to issue an order accordingly.
This will be the second attempt on the part of the PPP-led government to send IG Khowaja packing following the differences on various issues including transfer postings of police officials and appointment of cops.
Focusing on the power outages, the Sindh Cabinet observed that the province is being meted out step-motherly treatment by the centre in terms of prolonged electricity breakdowns and water distributions.
Secretary Energy Agha Wasif, while briefing the cabinet on load-shedding, said the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) is resorting to four to 16 hours of power breakdown.
The rural areas, particularly, are bearing the worst situation of power crisis, he added.
Wasif also said the Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) is resorting to load-shedding in district headquarters for nearly four hours, taluka headquarters six hours and rural areas eight hours and it gets prolonged subsequently.
The cabinet expressed its displeasure over the Hesco and Sepco recovering power bills from residential consumers through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “This is unacceptable at any cost,” the cabinet unanimously said.
Talking about K-Electric, the secretary energy said where feeder loses are 40%, the KE is doing two-and-a-half hours load-shedding, at 25% loses it resorts to two hours and at 15% loses it resorts to one hour power suspension.
He went on to say the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) used to supply gas to K- Electric is at a critical level. In April, last year KE was getting 208mmcfd and at this year it is getting only 120mmcfd.
As a result, gas based power generation capacity cannot be fully utilised by KE, he added.
It was also pointed out that KE power bill against KWSB from June 2016 to Feb 2017 was Rs4.796 billion, the claims Rs952 million arrears against KMC/CDGK. On this the chief minister said the Sindh government is paying KWSB electricity bills every month.
Briefing the cabinet about the water scarcity, Secretary Irrigation Minister Jamal Shah said early Kharif sowing season has started, from April 1 to June 10, and late Kharif starts from June 11 to September 30.
He went on to say that in the last 10 days of March the shortage reached 50% to 55% while the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) had anticipated 17% shortage, adding that the response to shortage has been made sagaciously.
CM Shah said if there is a shortage of water in Tarbella then Irsa should give water to Sindh from Mangla. The CM’s demand was approved by the cabinet.
Second phase of census
The provincial census chief also briefed the cabinet about the second phase of census.
On this the chief secretary said his house has not been counted so far. Only census team had visited him to count his family members and instead of asking him question mentioned in the questionnaire. “They asked me about the arms licences instead.”
The chief minister directed the provincial census chief to convey the reservations of the cabinet to the census commissioner. The cabinet also expressed its reservation on keeping the head-count secret from the family members.