Home Heritage Karoonjhar Mountain: Sindh Cabinet designates an area for granite mining

Karoonjhar Mountain: Sindh Cabinet designates an area for granite mining

Karoonjhar Mountain: Sindh Cabinet designates an area for granite mining
A view of Karoonjhar Mountain - Wikipedia photo

Sindh cabinet designated the Khasar area of Karoonjhar Mountain as the granite mining area, subject to clearance from the Forest & Wildlife Department

  • During the caretaker government, a proposal was initiated to launch the Granite Excavation Project at Nagarparkar.

Karachi, Sindh

After thorough discussion and consideration, the Sindh cabinet has designated the Khasar area of Karoonjhar Mountain as the granite mining area, subject to clearance from the Forest & Wildlife Department. It further decided to protect the entire Karoonjhar as cultural and heritage sites, forests, and a wildlife sanctuary/Ramsar Site.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House on Thursday July 11, 2024, an official press release said.

The cabinet meeting was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, chief secretary Asif Hyder Shah and other concerned officers.

The cabinet was informed that during the caretaker government, a proposal was initiated to launch the Granite Excavation Project at Nagarparkar.

According to the Geological Survey of Pakistan’s 2015 report, there are around 14 billion metric tons of Granite in Nagarparkar spread over 11 different locations. However, the Mines & Mineral department mentioned that the Sindh High Court, on October 16, 2023, banned excavation in the Nagarparkar area due to the presence of cultural/heritage sites, forest, and a wildlife sanctuary/Ramsar Site. The Sindh government has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which ordered that any government policy for mining in Karoonjhar hills should consider the competing interests of wildlife/forest, environment, and heritage.

As a result, the Cabinet committee identified the Khasar Area, located 25 km away from Nagarparkar, where the potential for granite excavation indicated an area of 3.6 sq. km, as per the GSP Report 2015. The committee found that the Khasar Area has no overlapping with forest areas. Subsequently, the cabinet approved Khasar as Granite mining in the area subject to the clearance of Forest & Wildlife.

Sindh Cabinet - Sindh Courier - CM House
Sindh Cabinet Meeting

Read: Save Karoonjhar Hills: Preserving the Legacy of Sindh

Grant for PAF: On the recommendation of the health department the Sindh cabinet approved a Rs.3.84 billion grant-in-aid Patients’ Aid Foundation (PAF), for the Procurement of Medical Equipment and supply of utilities for a new 12-storied 532-bedded medical complex including a dedicated floor for cardiology and six-storied 60-bedded government officers’ ward at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Karachi.

The amount would be released in two instalments, Rs2.13 billion in 2024-25 and Rs1.71 million in 2025-26.

Swift registration of Vehicles: The cabinet approved the Amendment in the Provincial Motor Vehicle Ordinance (PMVO) 1965 to ensure swift registration of vehicles, enhance public safety by preventing the misuse of unregistered vehicles for illegal activities. On top of it to improve revenue collection.

The salient features of the amendments are as follows:

  • Driving unregistered vehicles in Sindh will be prohibited.
  • All local or imported vehicles must be registered before being allowed on the roads.
  • Registration be completed at registration counters or points within manufacturing units and ports.
  • Dealers and showroom owners are prohibited from selling unregistered vehicles.
  • Responsibility for registration irregularities placed on dealers and showroom owners.

Peoples Houses’ exclusion cases: The cabinet was told that a certain number of affectees whose houses were collapsed/damaged during the floods were excluded during the joint survey. Since the validation was the purpose, therefore inclusion was not encouraged. The CM said that there were 15000 cases of inclusion lying with SPHF.

The CM with the consent of the cabinet directed the CEO SPHF to start considering the cases excluded earlier.

The Sindh cabinet decided to train 20,000 masons so that they could construct climate resilient houses. The training would cost around Rs140 million.

The cabinet was told that there were 111,000 individuals identified as persons with disabilities (PWD) who lost their homes in the recent floods. The cabinet decided to construct ramps for accessibility in their house.

Additionally, it was decided that an additional Rs.50,000 would be given to the PWDs to help them meet the construction requirements of their houses.

The CM decided that people with houses on government land near the flood-affected areas would be given land titles.

Construction of two bridges: The Irrigation Department informed the cabinet that during the 2022 floods, Manchar Lake at Sehwan experienced a significant disaster. The lake, which collects water from an area of 37000 square miles encompassing the Nari-Bolan basin, Mari-Bugti Hills, and the Kirthar Ranges, received a massive influx of flash floods.

During the floods, the floodwaters followed the FP Bund route as surface runoff through the MNV Drain and reached Manchar Lake before flowing into the Indus River. However, due to the limited capacity of Manchar Lake, two relief cuts were created at RD 14 and RD 52 to release water from the lake into the Indus River. These relief cuts were made along natural waterways, including the Aral Wah and Danistar Canal. However, these waterways are intersected by the Indus Highway, causing blockages to the passage of floodwater from Manchar Lake to the Indus River.

Aral Wah Bridge: Regarding the Aral Wah Bridge, the existing Aral Head Regulator is situated at MC RD 0+000 at Aral Wah with a discharge capacity of 10,500 cusecs, consisting of three gates. However, during the recent 2022 floods, it was evident that the existing capacity of the Manchar Lake outflow channel was insufficient to release the floodwater. Consequently, after a thorough investigation and survey, the construction of a new regulator at RD 2+300 with a design discharge capacity of 52,500 cusecs was proposed. The new regulator is equipped with 14 gates.

Due to the capacity enhancement activities at Aral Head Wah and its Head Regulator, the existing bridge, designed based on old parameters, is hindering the passage of the increased discharge of 52,500 cusecs. Therefore, the construction of a new bridge at the Indus Highway, built according to updated parameters, is necessary.

Bridge at Sherbazi: This location also lies on the natural waterway connecting Manchar Lake with Indus. In floods-2022, when the relief-cut RD-52 was provided to evacuate Manchar Lake, the NHA road caused hindrance.

It was proposed to construct a Road Bridge at this location to safely pass flood water from Manchar Lake to River Indus in case of situations like flood 2022. The bridge is to be reconstructed with a designed length of around 100 meters.

The cabinet approved the proposal along with Rs2.31 billion.

IBA Ghotki Campus: The cabinet was told that Sukkur IBA approved establishing its new Ghotki campus in August 2023.

The Sukkur IBA University has requested approval of a Special grant of Rs. 450 million for the establishment of the Ghotki campus. Rs. 150 million as one-time seed money, Rs. 250 million as annual recurring grants in aid starting from 2024-2025 and onwards. And Rs. 50 million as an Endowment Fund Grant starting from CFY 2024-2025 and onwards. The cabinet approved the grant.

Export of Sugar: The agriculture dept told the cabinet that the federal govt (Ministry of Industries and Production) has informed that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, has allowed the export of 150,000 metric tons of sugar as per specified terms and conditions.

The Export quota has been allocated to each province as 64 per cent to Punjab, 30pc to Sindh, and 6 per cent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

Sindh has been allocated a quota of 45,000 metric tons (30 per cent of 150,000 metric tons).

The cabinet after thorough discussion decided that the allocation of an equal share of export of sugar – 1,451.612 M. Tons to each of the 31 operational sugar mills as proposed by Cane Commissioner Sindh.

SMBBMC Lyari: The Health dept to the cabinet that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical College (SMBBMC) Lyari, Karachi needed permission for induction of Teaching Faculty in Basic & Clinical Sciences and other staff purely on a contract basis in the College to avoid de-recognition of the college.

The SMBBMC Lyari need 166 staff members, including 14 professors, 34 associate professors, 40 assistant professors, 25 senior registrars, and others. The cabinet approved the request.

Master Plan of Rani Bagh Hyderabad: The Local Government Department said that it was planning to implement the “Rehabilitation Project of Rani Bagh” in Hyderabad under the Public Private Partnership mode.

The cabinet approved the Master Plan of the Rani Bagh and sent it to the PPP Policy Board for the development of Rani Bagh on PPP mode.

Sindh Medico legal Advisory Board: The Sindh Medico legal Act, 2023 was promulgated by the Provincial Assembly on 26th July, 2023 to provide for the regulation of the medico legal system including administration, and all medico legal examinations and postmortems conducted in the Province of Sindh.

The seven-member board would function under the Secretary Health, DG Forensic Science Lab, two AIGs- Operation and Investigation, Prosecutor General, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Assistant Police Surgeon GMMMCH Sukkur and Dr. Tasneem Akhjtar of JPMC.

Infant & Young Child Nutrition Board: The Sindh Protection and Promotion of Breast Feeding and Young Child Nutrition Act, 2023 was promulgated by the Provincial Assembly on 13th July 2023 to protect breast-feeding and nutrition for infants and young children. The cabinet approved its 23-member board under Minister Health.

The provincial cabinet approved the name of Anwar Ahmad Pathan, Director Training, Agriculture Extension Sindh as a member of the Pakistan Tobacco Board.

Sindh cabinet extended the contract of the CEO of Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company Mr Saleem Shaikh for another three years.

The cabinet appointed Ali Hassan Rajpar, Joint Director Labour as Labour Welfare Commissioner. (PR)

Read: World organizations’ help sought to save Karoonjhar Mountain



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