Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani has directed officials of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) to submit to him a comprehensive report within the next 48 hours on all illegal constructions in Karachi.
The ordered that the report should include details of the action taken so far against illegal constructions, and the names of officers who were supposed to take action against such unlawful activities.
Ghani issued these directives as he chaired a meeting during his first visit to the offices of the SBCA on Tuesday after assuming his ministerial charge. Speaking at the meeting attended by senior officers of the authority and later talking to journalists, he said that unauthorised construction of buildings would no more be tolerated anywhere in Sindh, particularly in Karachi.
He said the officials concerned would be taken to task in case any complaint was received regarding unauthorised constructions. He said the provincial local government department would establish a public complaint cell regarding civic issues, and a similar complaint cell should also be set up at the SBCA offices.
He said that officials and staffers of all civic and municipal agencies in the province, including that of the SBCA, would be required to discharge their duties with the best of their abilities, and they would also be under an obligation to attend their offices punctually.
He said that no staffer or official would be given any sort of relaxation or leniency regarding their service matters on basis of their political or any other affiliation. Ghani added that that the provincial government would help the relevant civic agencies to adopt policies to promote construction of residential houses on small plots measuring 60, 80 and 120 square yards so that families belonging to middle- and low-income groups were provided the opportunity to build their residences.
He directed the SBCA officials to duly observe all the directives of the water commission working in Sindh regarding construction activities in the province. The minister said he would soon visit all towns of Karachi in order to monitor and get firsthand information regarding illegal construction activities there. He said officials of the SBCA like that of the other civic agencies in the province had no option but to observe their office timings with punctuality on a daily basis from 9am to 5pm.
He said he would investigate to ascertain any past shadowy affairs of the SBCA. The minister said he had been given charge of the local government department by his party to improve affairs of all civic and municipal agencies in the city and fully rectify their functioning on an objective basis without coming under any sort of influence or pressure from any quarter.
End of corruption
Ghani said his top priority would be to weed out corruption from the local government department.
He was talking to The News at the SBCA after a briefing given to him by Director General Iftikar Qaimkhani of the authority.
He said he had just assumed charge of his office but firmly believed that the system could never be improved until corruption was eliminated.
He said the chief minister had given him full powers to take action against corrupt officers without any discrimination. He asked the media to help identify corrupt officers and he would take action by holding inquiries against them. The minister was of the view that once corruption was eliminated, the system would automatically come onto the right track .
Improvement in the performance of the civic agencies would provide relief to the people of Karachi. Replying to a question, he said no doubt there was an acute water shortage in Karachi, but he would make best efforts to overcome this serious issue.