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August 8, 2019

‘Rs120.3bn spent on uplift of Karachi during last six years’


August 8, 2019

The total development expenditures incurred in the province during the last six fiscal years between 2013-14 and 2018-19 amounted to Rs495.04 billion, of which Rs120.30 billion were spent on development projects in Karachi.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said this while presiding over a preparatory meeting for the expected heavy downpour in the coastal areas of the province on Wednesday at the CM House.

The meeting was attended by Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Adviser to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab, Acting Chief Secretary Mohammad Waseem, Planning and Development Board Chairperson Nahid Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Local Government Secretary Khalid Hyder Shah, Transport Secretary Abbas Detho and others.

The CM said water and sanitation projects were of central importance to his government, which gave them high priority while allocating funds for the city’s projects. He added that during the last six fiscal years, an allocation of Rs69.27 billion had been made for water supply and sanitation of the city. “Expenditures of Rs24.65 billion have been incurred to complete 77 water and sanitation schemes in the city,” he said. Talking about priority sectors for the development of Karachi, Murad said he had initiated 40 mega projects of construction and improvement of road network, up-grading of filter plants, pumping stations and construction of storm water drains.

He added that 20 mega schemes for Rs15.33 billion had been completed till date and 20 schemes worth Rs12.474 billion were included in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of 2019-20.

He maintained that the cumulative ADP allocation for education sector from the fiscal year 2013-14 to 2018-19 was Rs19.16 billion. During the said period, Rs10.27 billion expenditures had been incurred to complete 75 schemes pertaining to the education sector in Karachi, he said. The CM also disclosed that he had allocated Rs62.034 billion in 2019-20 for the portfolio of 449 development schemes of Karachi.

Another rain spell

The CM directed the local government minister to alert local bodies staff for the forthcoming rainfall as predicted by the Met Office. “Mostly the coastal belt of Karachi, Thatta, Badin and some parts of Hyderabad would be affected, therefore the KMC, DMCs, water board, deputy commissioners concerned, HDA, HMC, Wasa must be activated.”

He directed the local government department to activate local bodies in Thatta and Badin where the Provincial Disaster Management Authority would also help them in case of heavy downpour.

The CM also asked the Karachi and Hyderabad commissioners to activate the relevant deputy commissioners to help people and support the disposal of rainwater. “I want you to focus on low-lying areas where rainwater accumulates when heavy rains are received,” he said and added that suction machines must be installed there and drainage system cleared.

Murad observed that during the last week rains, the local bodies’ officials, water board and deputy commissioners and their supporting staff remained busy in cleaning the city and supporting the people. “This time I want a similar spirit and vigour for helping the people,” he said.

He directed Nasir to prepare a contingency plan for the disposal of rainwater, and opening of manholes and choking points of storm water drains and make arrangements for diesel generators to operate suction machines.

The local government minister said an emergency cell has been set up in this regard and his department would monitor the situation. “I would be visiting the cities which would receive heavy rains,” he added.

After the meeting, the CM left for Hyderabad to monitor the disposal of rainwater of the last downpour. He was accompanied by Nasir, Shabir Bijarani, Sharjeel Memon and Qasim Naveed.

New special assistant

Just within two days after a major reshuffle in the provincial cabinet, the CM has appointed a special assistant and assigned responsibilities to his two other special assistants.

The new special assistant to the CM is Bungal Mahar who will look after the provincial departments of wildlife and sports. Meanwhile, the CM also assigned provincial departments to his two other special assistants, Khatoomal Jewan and Veerji Kohli. Jewan has been given the responsibility to look after the Bureau of Supply & Prices and Kohli will assist the CM in the affairs of the human rights department.

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