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August 2, 2019

Sindh, local govts sceptical about Zaidi’s clean Karachi campaign

Karachi

August 2, 2019

After the provincial and local governments failed to manage Karachi post-monsoon rainfall, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi came forward and pledged to clean the city from trash in a two-week time.

In his tweet, he said that “with the help of the citizens of this great city, we will clean up Karachi from trash in next two week. #LetsCleanKHI”. This move came after Mayor Wasim Akhtar wrote him on Tuesday regarding the state of emergency due to torrential rains in the port city.

In his letter, he said that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had requested the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to help the corporation in cleaning the storm water drains on a most emergency basis as the KMC had imposed emergency in the city. “It will be an understatement to say that ports owe to the city and ports should shoulder there responsibility under CSR,” the letter reads.

The provincial and the local governments seemed to be not very optimistic about Zaidi’s initiative. Speaking to The News on Thursday, Akhtar said that Zaidi’s tweet came after he wrote to him. When asked if the corporation or his party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), would support the campaign, he responded that if the federal ministry shared its plan with them, they would move ahead together.

The mayor, however, did not seem hopeful about the cleaning campaign. “Governments aren’t interested in Karachi, especially the Sindh government,” he said and added that such campaigns did not yield fruitful results.

When asked if the Sindh government should be onboard, he responded that it was up to the federal government if they invited the Sindh government or not. Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister Barrister Murtaza Wahab on the other hand told The News that the provincial government would support the federal government if they served the city beyond politics.

“In their 11 month [tenure], they haven’t fulfilled their one promise [for Karachi],” he said and asked how he could believe that Zaidi’s sentiments were pure for the city this time. Meanwhile, Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that they had repeatedly asked the federal government to play their role for the development of Karachi. “They should at least fulfil their commitments [they have made],” he said and added that if they wanted to clean Karachi “they can and they should”.

On a question regarding the maritime ministry’s services to clean the rain drains, he responded by saying that for that the KMC needed funds and if they were ready to fund them, they should. Once their plan to help the city came forward, he said, they would respond to it accordingly.

Pak Sar Zameen Party’s (PSP) Raza Haroon responded to Zaidi’s tweet and said that it was a good initiative and all stakeholders should be on one page.

Celebrities and cricketers also showed their support on Twitter. Cricketer Wahab Riaz said that it was an excellent initiative by Zaidi for the city of lights. “We Zalmi’s will play in a beautiful Karachi,” he said.

Singer Fakhir Mehmood said that it was a terrific initiative for Karachi. “Let’s neaten it up and make a difference. Count me in buddy,” he said.

Anwar Maqsood in a video statement said that whatever Ali Zaidi had said should be implemented and all the drains of the city should be cleaned. Trade associations such as Korangi Association of Trade, Industry and Federal B. Area Association of Trade and Industry and Landi Association of Trade and Industry also extended their support to Zaidi by writing a letter to him.

Meanwhile, the K-Electric in a statement also said that they looked forward to joining the #Let’sCleanKhi initiative launched by Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi and working closely to ensure a cleaner and greener city.