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Karachi

June 20, 2017

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Sindh govt questions maintainability of MQM-P’s plea against SSWMB

Sindh govt questions maintainability of MQM-P’s plea against SSWMB

The provincial local government, in the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday, questioned the maintainability of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) petition against constitution of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) and its law, contending that the Supreme Court did not declare the board’s law ultra vires to the constitution.

Filing comments on the petition regarding implementation of the apex court’s directives on constitution of the waste management board, secretary local government submitted that the petition was not maintainable in connection with the SC declaring to have the board dissolved since the provincial government had filed a review application with the SC to extend the SSWMB’s dissolution.

The secretary maintained that the SC had appointed a commission to have its orders implemented and no direction could be sought from the SHC in the deviation of mechanism laid down by the apex court for implementing its order.

He submitted that the SC did not hold the SSWMB ultra vires to the constitution and left the matter at the discretion of the provincial assembly. Article 140-A of the Constitution has been fully implemented and such article did not put any fetters on the province to legislate on any respect on any subject relating to the local government, he added.

As per the secretary, the waste management board did not usurp the local council’s powers and two councils of Karachi entered into an agreement with the SSWMB to have their solid waste disposed of in a scientific and organised manner.

He requested the court to dismiss the petition as it was filed to malign the provincial government functionaries to gain political mileage.

SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi directed the advocate general to file a detailed report on the city’s cleanness status and adjourned the hearing till July 10.

MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and others submitted in their petition that the SSWMB failed to perform its duties of collecting and disposing garbage in the city and instead outsourced its functions to a Chinese firm.

The petitioners submitted that the staff of the district municipal corporations was inducted in the board and handed over to the Chinese firm instead of using the workforce under the existing structure of DMCs present.

They submitted that constituting the waste management board was illegal in presence of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and DMC. The board’s failure to remove garbage from the city resulted in citizens getting affected by several diseases. They also sought audit of the SSWMB and transfer of its funds to local government.

Petitioner’s counsel Farogh Naseem maintained that the SC had also taken exception over SSWMB’s role and function, and requested the court to dissolve the board and transfer its powers to the respective DMCs.

He maintained that the apex court had observed that running a parallel organisation to perform the same function leads to bad governance and reflects a lack of responsibility and accountability.

The counsel added that the court had ordered for the ‘experiments’ to end now and dissolve the non-functional board that has never performed by transferring its functions to the local bodies, in accordance with the rules of business.

The exercise, the court had ruled, would ameliorate citizen’s problems and will also save the Sindh government a lot of public money which it is a trustee of.

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