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December 7, 2018

‘World Bank has no link to drive against encroachments’


December 7, 2018

Sindh’s local government minister has said that it is utterly wrong to assume that the World Bank has any connection with the anti-encroachment drive under way in Karachi.

“The orders for this were given by the Supreme Court, while the CJP himself is monitoring it,” Saeed Ghani said on Thursday while talking to the media after launching a tree plantation drive under the aegis of the WWF at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park.

Ghani’s statement comes in the backdrop of rumours that some international donors agencies want to transform Karachi at the cost of lower- and middle-income groups working or living in the older parts of the city to pave the way for high-end shopping malls.

“We are fully cognisant of the fact that this drive will render a number of people jobless, but we have already assured all the affected quarters that the Sindh government will not let even a single shopkeeper remain jobless.”

He said that even though the city mayor has the complete list of 3,500 affected shopkeepers, the government has constituted a committee to scrutinise the list in consultation with traders’ associations.

Ghani said the project of 100mgd additional supply for the city under the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board that was scheduled to be completed in December will now be launched by February or March, which is still 10 months early.

He said the government has been working on a project to plug leaks in and stop thefts from the bulk supply, adding that 200 parks under the administrative control of the Karachi Development Authority will be beautified.

Moreover, parks in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana and other districts of the province will also be upgraded to provide the best of the recreational activities to the people, said the minister.

To a question, he conceded that he himself was not satisfied with his own performance during the first 100 days in the ministerial office of the province. “But whatever I have done during these 100 days, people have started benefitting from it.”

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