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SC summoned Sindh chief secretary in the Nai Gaj Dam case

17 May, 2019

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Thursday summoned the Sindh chief secretary to appear before it on May 23 in the Nai Gaj Dam case. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Azmat Saeed, issued the order, directing the provincial chief secretary to record his statement before the court regarding the construction of the dam in Dadu district.

The court in March had ordered the immediate construction of Nai Gaj Dam and directed the federal and provincial governments to ensure the timely provision of funds to the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for the purpose. The court had asked the Planning Division and the Sindh Irrigation secretary to submit a compliance report.

“The Sindh chief secretary should testify before the court that the people of Dadu do not require water for irrigation and they have no need of water,” Justice Azmat Saeed remarked during Thursday’s hearing. “The court will review its earlier orders after statement of the chief secretary,” Justice Saeed said. “The bench can also review its order of construction of the dam,” the judge said.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that the provincial government now refused to accept the decision of ECNEC with regard to construction of the dam. “The cost of the construction of the project keeps on rising with the passing of time,” Justice Ahsan said.

“The initial cost of the project was Rs 26 billion. It has now soared to Rs 46 billion,” the deputy attorney general informed the court. The court then adjourned the hearing till May 23.

At a hearing in April, the Sindh additional advocate general had voiced his objections over the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council’s (ECNEC) decision that Sindh would provide 50 percent funds for the project. He had said that the provincial government could not pay 50 percent cost of the project. However, the Sindh government had agreed to WAPDA’s proposal about the construction of the dam.

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