Sindh cabinet opposes draft bill on dowry ban; offers building to Footpath School

 
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KARACHI Feb 01 (TNS): The Sindh cabinet in its meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah opposed a draft bill calling for ban on dowry in the province.

The Women Development Department brought Sindh Dowry Act 2017 draft for discussion. Under the proposed law, extravagant dowry, presents and bridal gifts in marriage have been fixed at Rs50, 000.

The draft law said that no person shall give or take or abet the giving of taking of dowry exceeding rupees fifty thousand. No person shall demand directly or indirectly from the family or other relatives of bride any dowry.

However, CM Sindh said that the law proposed law would be difficult to implement if passed by the assembly, and they have to pass laws which could be implemented in true letter and spirit.

He added that dowry or extravagance in marriage is a social problem which requires educating people of society. The proposal was also opposed by Industries Minister Manzoor Wassan and Planning and Development Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani. The matter was referred to a committee to make it workable.

The Sindh cabinet approved amendment in the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) Rule 47(3) to undertake the solicitation process of BRT Blue Line Infrastructure Component in an expeditious manner.

Secretary Transport Naveed Awan said that the provincial government has started some BRT projects and work on Abdul Sattar Edhi Orange Line was in progress

He added that the Transport & Mass Transit Department has received an unsolicited proposal from a consortium of EA Consulting to design, build, finance, operate and transfer  10.1 km long Blue Line BRT project. There would be a 27-year concession period which includes two years of construction and 25 years of operation and maintenance.

The cabinet discussed the project and in order to undertake the solicitation process in expeditious manner, the cabinet approved an amendment in the SPPRA Rule 47(3) under which pre-qualification exemption has been made, and now any firm can directly participate in the bidding process.

Briefing the cabinet about traffic issues of the city, Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah said that there were 4.137 million vehicles registered in Karachi, and currently 6,457 buses of various size are plying on 192 routes as against the requirement of 10,600 buses.

CM Sindh said that it shows a shortfall of 4,143 buses. He added that in Karachi there are 45 persons for one bus seat, while in Mumbai the ratio is 12 persons per seat and in Hong Kong is eight persons per seat. He stressed on the need to reduce this gap by providing efficient, comfortable and affordable transport facilities to the people of Karachi.

The transport minister said that the number of contract buses is 2715 and 80 percent buses are more than twenty years old.

CM Sindh pointed that 5400 vehicles are two decades old and are not only causing travelling problems but contributing in the environmental problems. Therefore, he said that special focus is being given to resolve the transport issues.

The cabinet was told that 6,078 private vehicles and 22,476 motorcycles are being registered every month leading to more traffic congestion, causing more pollution, increasing traffic density and vehicle operating cost.

Later, talking to media Information Minister Syed Nasir Shah said that the government does not want to close down the Footpath School, and are offering them to partner with the Sindh government.

However, he said that through Sindh Education Foundation Managing Director Nafisa Shah, the chief minister has offered to give a school building to the management of Footpath School.

He added that the chief minister was worried about the street children receiving education under the open skies on the pavement.  Therefore, he said that CM Sindh has offered to give lunch to footpath school students through Selani Trust, stipend/pocket money, textbooks and copies, uniform, including shoes and socks and a school building under adoption policy so they could be secure.