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August 18, 2019

Only four of 13,000 tons of city’s garbage properly disposed of, says Ali Zaidi


August 18, 2019

Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi has said that of 13,000 tons of garbage being collected from Karachi, hardly three to four tons are properly disposed of, whereas, the rest makes its way to roads and drains of the city.

He said this while addressing an event on Saturday at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce (KCCI) and Industry to promote the Clean Karachi Campaign. The campaign had been initiated by Zaidi when the city faced severe issues after the first monsoon rain spell of 2019 in the last days of July. He pledged to clean trash from the city in two weeks as he announced the campaign.

In a tweet, he said, “with the help of the citizens of this great city, we will clean up Karachi from trash in next two week. #LetsCleanKHI.” The move came after Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar wrote to him about the miserable condition of the city due to torrential rain.

The federal minister said Karachi belonged to everyone and no one should behave as if they had exclusive control over the city. The cleaning operation started a week before Eid and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, MPAs, MNAs, elected representatives of the local government, the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and the National Logistics Cell participated in the drive.

The FWO identified five major drains in the city that needed to be cleaned and started the cleaning work.

On Friday, Zaidi inaugurated the campaign’s second phase from Lyari; however, he did not set any deadline for it. In the second phase of the Clean Karachi Campaign, he said, the focus would be on all the garbage dumps of the city which would be cleaned.

Zaidi shared that from the Mehmoodabad nullah in District East they had taken out a dozen bikes during the cleaning work. “From certain drains, we have taken out sandbags and blocks,” he said.

Commenting on a video that went viral on social media in which Zaidi was seen reprimanding a resident of Defense Housing Authority for sacrificing his camel by blocking the road, the federal minister said the law had to be applied equally to all the citizens. Some people purchased expensive animals and sacrificed them on roads to show off, which was a wrong practice, he said. “After the incident, I got calls from the neighbourhood appreciating me for what I did,” he said.

Speaking on the incidents of electrocution, Zaidi said he was deeply sad over the incidents.

Regarding Clean Karachi Campaign, he said they had formed town committees to make sure that garbage was not dumped into the drains anymore. He advised people to make videos of those who threw garbage on roads. “We have to stop them,” he said. He informed the audience that people were donating money heavily for the cleanliness campaign. Until August 9, Zaidi said they had collected Rs89.164 million for the campaign.

Zaidi also discussed the new shipping policy at the event. He said a new shipping policy had been approved which would be announced next week.

KCCI President Junaid Ismail said all the business communities were happy with the federal government’s initiative to clean the metropolis. In previous governments, he said, Karachi was not on the list of priorities. Had the drains not been cleaned, the city would have been completely drowned in the recent rainfall, he remarked.

Referring to the earlier Clean and Green campaign that was launched in 2018, he lamented that it did not yield expected results. Speaking on the performance of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB), he said the organisation had completely failed to clean garbage from the city. Businessmen Group Chairman Muhammad Zubair Motiwala said it must be determined who was responsible for the menace of garbage in the city.

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