–Murad Ali Shah says Sindh govt will resist rolling back of 18th Amendment
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he is not against the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam but there are some reservations on its location and availability of water in the system.
The chief minister expressed these views on Tuesday while talking to reporters at Quaid’s Mausoleum.
Murad said that the Bhasha Dam was located in the seismic area and water in the system was not available to such an extent that the dam could be filled. Elaborating on the availability of water in the system, he said that last year, instead of 10, only 7.5 MAF water was released to downstream Kotri.
“As a matter of fact, 25 MAF water is required, otherwise the sea would keep encroaching further upon the nearby villages,” he said, and added that in the last 10 years, water releases to downstream Kotri show that for six years, it was less than 10 MAF and then went down further between two to four MAF.”
Murad further said that the record of water releases was available with the provincial government from 1922 to date. “If anybody wants to verify the figures, he is welcome to do so,” he said and added that the availability of water in the system was a big issue.
The chief minister said that his government and party policy for construction of dams is very clear. He added that the provincial government was constructing 34 small dams and the work on them has almost been completed and work on other 16 dams was in progress.
CM Shah further said that any attempt to roll back 18th Constitutional Amendment would be resisted by the province of Sindh as the amendment provides provincial autonomy and has strengthened parliamentary form of government in the country.
He said that the amendment was passed by the National Assembly in 2010 and over 27-member parliamentary committee comprising members from all the parliamentary parties had drafted it with collective wisdom and extensive discussion with all the stakeholders. “I am sure the federal government would not disturb it [18th amendment], but if any attempt is made, it would be resisted strongly,” he said.
Earlier, the chief minister along with Sindh governor and his cabinet members laid floral wreath on Quaid’s Mausoleum and offered Fateha on Quaid’s death anniversary. The chief minister also recorded his impressions in the visitors’ book.