KARACHI: Members of the Sindh Assembly have expressed concern over the dilapidated condition of the provincial government’s rest houses in Islamabad and Murree. Lawmakers and bureaucrats, when they visit the federal capital, must find alternative accommodation as the official rest house has become uninhabitable.
Sindh Works and Services Secretary Mansoor Abbas admitted recently that the provincial government rest houses in Islamabad and Murree were in deplorable condition.
He made the admission in a meeting of the Sindh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – the provincial watchdog. During the meeting, the PAC chairperson, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, said that bathroom fittings and locks in Sindh House, Islamabad, were broken. He added that the Sindh Assembly’s lawmakers couldn’t even use the facility, which belonged to the provincial government. “We are told to book rooms in hotels,” he said. The chairman inquired who was occupying the Sindh House. According to Chandio, no repair work has been undertaken in both rest houses for the past several years.
Meanwhile, officials of the Works and Services department told the committee members that the contracts of employees at the Sindh House Murree had expired and no further appointments had been made. There are no contractual or permanent employees at the rest house on the government’s payroll, said an official. He added that the employees who had stayed on were making do with tips given to them by visitors.
Members of the PAC expressed concern over the terrible condition of the rest houses and directed for a list of defaulters to be provided.
The PAC was informed that a suggestion to hand over the guest houses to a private company was under consideration. Both of them will be privatised after the approval of the recommendation and the private company will collect the rent for residence on a commercial basis.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2019.