The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government’s flagship project Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority is yet to start its operation because the bill passed by the provincial assembly has not received the approval of the governor. Even though the government was able to pass the bill with a majority, the delay in the operations of the authority is beyond comprehension.

Will the flagship project meet the fate of its predecessor project, i.e., the multi-billion-rupee Saaf Pani project? If this happens to be the case, what is new that the PTI government is offering to the masses?

What is more problematic is the number of allegations that the opposition is raising over the governor’s role in the project. If any of the accusations that the opposition parties are levelling against the governor are true, then it is a clear-cut case of conflict of interests. The governor should immediately excuse himself from becoming the patron-in-chief of the project. To put it bluntly, the performance of the PTI government is far from satisfactory when it comes to execution of mega projects.

Only recently some pictures of Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project have been circulating on social media where a gas pipeline running through a pedestrian underpass exposes not only the faulty design of the project; also it puts lives at risk. The BRT project according to a recent investigation report instead of a shining example of PTI’s governance is a glaring and sad story of kickbacks and faulty engineering. Should we assume the same would happen to PTI’s flagship project of potable water in Punjab?

So two issues are at play in the present case: First is the legislative lethargy regarding the execution of the project. Second is the issue of the conflict of interest that the opposition raises in case the governor is made the patron-in-chief of the project.

The reluctance on the part of the ruling party to send the bill to the Governor House secretariat suggests that the allegations of the opposition are not without merit. Nevertheless, the opposition is not the sole reason for the delay in the forwarding of the bill. The rift between PTI and its allied party Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) is also playing its part in it.