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December 24, 2018

Extraordinary policy needed to run Karachi, says mayor


December 24, 2018

Mayor Wasim Akhtar has urged civil services officers to keep themselves away from political pressure and work for the country’s progress.

Speaking to a 55-member delegation of officers from the Pakistan Administrative Service of the 41st Specialized Training Program in the Civil Services Academy, Lahore, who called on him at the KMC head office, Mayor Akhtar said Karachi runs the national and provincial economies because of which an extraordinary policy is needed to run it.

“We are ready for coordination with the provincial and federal government for the betterment of the city,” he said. “The whole country would benefit from improvement in Karachi.” Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saifur Rehman, KMC Senior Director Coordination Masood Alam and other officers were also present on the occasion.

The mayor told delegation members that local government institutions are considered the nursery of democracy and have the ability to resolve the problems of citizens on a grass-roots level, whereas the provincial governments can only do lawmaking. Powers should be devolved to lower level so that people could benefit from it, he said.

According to Mayor Akhtar, despite having limited resources, the KMC was making it possible to provide basic municipal facilities to a city of millions of people. Though elections of local government were held under the directives of the Supreme Court, powers were still to be devolved to these institutions, he said.

Akhtar said the situation can be made better if only those departments which were devolved to other organisations under the SLGO 2013 were returned to the KMC.

If funds and OZT share were released regularly, most of the projects can be made on the KMC and DMC level, he said, adding that fixing the water supply system would be KMC’s priority if it gets the funds for it after which solid waste management, sewerage system and improving city hospitals will be the next priority.

Speaking about the anti-encroachment drive, the mayor said action against encroachers was carried out on the directives of the Supreme Court and everyone saw that when all concerned organisations were brought to one page and powers were given, the city’s footpaths, parks and drains got rid of encroachments which were established even 40 or 45 years ago.

Karachi was neglected in the past and the encroachment mafia got stronger and stronger and even two big martial laws could not remove them, he said. Akhtar further said that foreign investment was ready to come to the city if the infrastructure is developed. The development budget should only be spent on development works, and amendments are needed in the rules to speed up the pace of such projects. The head of the delegation presented a shield to the mayor at the end of the meeting, while he presented a memento to the delegation head.

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