Legislators in the upper house of the Parliament on Thursday expressed serious reservations over mismanagement in a two-million gallon per day (MGD) water desalination plant in Gwadar and demanded a probe to fix responsibility for the plant’s condition as early as possible. An enquiry report had found massive instances of mismanagement in the project. The report pointed fingers towards a tankers mafia claiming that it did not want to see the water supply project successful because it would disturb their businesses. These revelations were made in a Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform meeting on Thursday, with Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani was in chair. Senator Kauda Babar of Gwadar said local people were crying for water and billions of rupees were spent on the plant but he regretted that it had failed to deliver. The committee was told that 2-MGD water desalination plant could not produce results. It was told that plant was installed but it could not function while its equipment was decaying. The committee chair said that the Gwadar port city, which is going to become a hub of economic activities with the help of Chinese investment, has been facing acute water shortage so all those who had committed negligence for ensuring basic facilities at Gwadar should be held responsible. The committee sent the case to NAB for proceeding against the responsible people. About construction of Halka-DI Khan road, the committee was informed that work was in progress in different phases. Leader of the House Shibli Faraz told the representative of National Highway Authority to improve the roads network particularly in southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because they were mostly neglected. On the establishment of Center of Excellence of Mathematical Sciences in University of Peshawar, representative of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) told the committee that the project was dropped due to cuts in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19. However, the Secretary Planning Planning, Development and Reform informed the committee that the ministry would look into the matter if the HEC forwards the request in the next year. Through another agenda item relating to construction of 100 small dams in Balochistan, senators belonging to Balochistan demanded the government to initiate another scheme of 500 small dams for next five years. They also demanded release of Rs1,200 million to contractors involved in construction of these dams. The senators also demanded that these 100 small and medium size dams should be constructed before 2026, which was due date of the scheme. Published in Daily Times, January 4th 2019.