SC seeks update from Sindh on Nai Gaj dam

AAG Sindh while objecting to Ecnec’s decision says provincial government could not pay for the 50 per cent


Aqil Afzal April 10, 2019
Supreme Court. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a reply from Sindh government on Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec’s) decision regarding the construction of Nai Gaj dam.

The case was heard by a three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.

The court sought explanation on the progress of Nai Gaj dam to which additional advocate general Sindh while objecting to Ecnec’s decision said that the provincial government could not pay for the 50 percent cost of the project. However, the government had consensus on Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda’s) proposal pertaining to the construction of dam.

Justice Saeed observed that Ecnec had turned down the proposal given by Wapda and added it appeared that the two federating units had some misunderstanding on the cost of the project.

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Deputy attorney general told the court that Sindh government had to pay 50 percent of the additional costs. The dam costs Rs46 billion while the Sindh government needed to pay only Rs10 billion. Justice Saeed observed that Ecnec was a constitutional forum and deserved respect.

AAG Sindh said that the money could be paid to the provincial government through collection from Bahria Town. Justice Saeed remarked that the shortfall could not be paid off from such collection.

The court while seeking a reply from Sindh government adjourned the hearing until the first week of May.

Meanwhile, the top court resolved to combine all cases pertaining to lease of land belonging to Pakistan Railways. During the hearing, Justice Saeed announced that the case of Royal Palm, which had been pending for the last several years, will be decided.

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Justice Ijazul Ahsan maintained that the railways minister himself had said that he would not allow lease of railways land for more than five years. The department was not awarded land to generate revenue and instead housing schemes had been built on it.

Justice Saeed maintained that the land not in use by railways should be handed back to the government.

The counsel for the railways maintained that no businessman was ready to obtain short-term lease of the land.

Justice Saeed announced that the court would announce the verdict of Royal Palm case on Thursday (today) as it had been pending for several years.

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