The recently appointed director general of the cash-strapped Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) was suspended by a court on Wednesday.
A retired government servant, Qurban Hussain Khoso, was appointed as the DG on July 25 while Ghulam Muhammad Qaimkhani, who held the charge before him, was transferred to the local government department.
Human rights activist Abdul Jabbar Rehmani, however, challenged the appointment and filed a petition in the Sindh High Court, Hyderabad bench. He raised the objection that Khoso is a retired bureaucrat who also lacks experience of working in the development authorities. The petitioner’s counsel, Saulat Rizvi, said that Khoso was an employee of the Sanghar Sugar Mills but retired as a grade 19 officer last year.
Before his appointment in the HDA, he was working on contract as a consultant at the Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment. The lawyer also referenced to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the re-employment of retired persons which held such appointments as unlawful.
The bench of Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Riazat Ali Sahar, while suspending the notification, issued notices for August 28 to the Sindh chief secretary, additional chief secretary local government and Khoso.
After taking charge, Khoso exalted two officers of the authority’s subsidiary, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), to the posts of secretary and deputy secretary of HDA, besides making other changes. The HDA and its subsidiary WASA have been experiencing financial hardships and seeking bailout packages from the Sindh government.
The last three weeks also saw deterioration in the services of the HDA, especially WASA, with heaps of garbage accumulating in all parts of the city as well as supply of unfiltered drinking water to the consumers.
The district and session judge, Amjad Ali Bohyo, has formed an inquiry commission to carry out water analysis of samples collected from the filtration plants and parts of the city.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.