Political bigwigs and others are involved in water theft from Indus and non-Indus canals. Despite repeated requests, the Chief Minister is not allowing the Irrigation Department to take Rangers on board in this regard,” Secretary Irrigation Babber Effendi disclosed this during a meeting of Sindh Public Accounts Committee (PAC), here on Wednesday.
The Secretary Irrigation was commenting on the issue of water theft from Indus and non-Indus canals. He said that political bigwigs and many other influential people are involved in water theft but we (Irrigation Department) are unable to take any action against them.
Earlier, PAC Chairman Jam Tamachi Unarr alleged that the Irrigation officials are involved in water theft and they are minting money from this black business. It was observed that the discussion on various water issues, between the Secretary Irrigation and the PAC team continued till the end of the meeting.
During the meeting, the PAC had to review the audit paras of three financial years of the Irrigation Department ie 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08. The PAC also reviewed some paras but it stopped the review when it came to know by the audit officials that the audit paras were not verified by the audit office.
On the occasion, Director General Audit objected that the Irrigation Department had sent working papers day before this meting so we could not study the papers thoroughly. He doubts that some of the paras were unsettled but the working papers showed them as settled.
Jam Tamachi Unarr reacted harshly over the non-serious attitude of the irrigation officials and directed PAC staff to write letters to Chief Minister, Minister for Irrigation and other authorities concerned complaining them that there was no co-ordination between the departments and the audit office so appropriate action against the officials from both sides may be taken. Jam Tamachi reportedly tried to stop the proceedings of the PAC but Amir Moin Pirzada, one of the members suggested the chairman that a committee be set up with the mandate to review the working papers and if these papers are not proved right, the committee would recommend action against the officials involved.
On this, Jam Tamachi constituted a two-member committee comprising Amir Moin Pirzada and Ghulam Mujadid Isran to review the working papers. The committee would report to the PAC within 15 days. Later on the fate of these working papers would be decided, Jam Tamachi ruled during the meeting.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012