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August 20, 2019

Ghani mocks Zaidi’s cleanliness drive as latter asks Sindh govt to take five steps


August 20, 2019

On Monday, when Federal Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi wrote a letter to the provincial local government minister asking him to take five measures to ensure that the ‘Let’s Clean Karachi’ campaign achieved its targets, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani appealed to Zaidi to shut down the drive as he had not been properly disposing of waste collected under the campaign at the designated landfill sites.

For God’s sake, better close down the drive, Ghani said while speaking to media persons at the Sindh Assembly building on Monday. He alleged that so far not a single truck carrying the waste collected under the federal government-backed cleanliness campaign had reached any of the properly designated landfill sites of the city.

Criticising the cleanliness drive for only doing incomplete work, the information minister said the cleanliness teams of the campaign had been taking out garbage from the drains but rather than transporting it to landfill sites, they were openly dumping it at various grounds, parks and roadsides of Karachi.

It appears that the cleanliness campaign means to make Karachi filthier, Ghani remarked. He said the cleanliness situation of Karachi had been worsening owing to the negative impacts of the Centre-backed drive.

He said that he was the local government minister of the province at the time when the cleanliness campaign was announced and he had made it compulsory that the garbage collected under the campaign should be properly disposed of at the landfill sites of the city. He added that binding instructions in this regard had also been issued to the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) in this regard.

Five recommendations

In a letter to Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Zaidi asked him to take five steps to ensure the success of the ‘Let’s Clean Karachi’ campaign.

Thanking Shah for cooperating in the cleanliness campaign, Zaidi firstly asked him to officially and publicly notify the list of the garbage transfer stations (GTS) sites in all the six districts of the city with their garbage capacity in metric tons.

As the second measure, he asked the Sindh government to impose the Section 144 to ban dumping of any type of garbage in any nullah across the city. “Impose fines on those who don’t follow instructions,” the letter read.

Under the third recommendation, the federal minister asked Shah to notify all the official Kachra Kundis (garbage dumping points) in all the union councils of the city.

Fourthly, Zaidi asked the local government minister to instruct all the private societies and cantonment boards to transfer their garbage directly to landfill sites identified by the Sindh government. “Impose penalties on societies not following the instruction,” he wrote.

The fifth step proposed by the federal minister was about taking immediate measures to remove illegal encroachments from all the drains including the Mahmoodabad Nullah. Speaking to the media, Zaidi said their mission was to clean garbage from the port-city. The campaign, he said, was not time-bound but it focused on achieving the target.

“Machines of Bahria Town’s Malik Riaz have also come on ground,” he said, adding that District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Central Chairman Rehan Hashmi had also started the cleaning work under the campaign. “We’ve one point agenda, to clean every district of the city,” he said. The federal minister agreed to the Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar’s demand to declare an emergency state in the city. “Emergency will have to be imposed in Karachi,” he said.

In another event, Zaidi shared that in the first phase of the campaign, they had taken out garbage from selected drains of the city and that garbage had been put on the banks of the drains or at some GTS to dry off so that it could be lifted in the second phase.

“The city has six districts but has only two officially notified GTS,” he said. In the upcoming phase of the campaign, Zaidi said they would start cleaning the GTS – official or unofficial – throughout the city.

Akhtar censures SSWMB

During his visit to the Sirajud Daulah College to monitor the Bahria Town’s cleaning work there, the Karachi mayor criticised the SSWMB for its failure to clean garbage from the city. Akhtar also lamented the poor sewerage system of Karachi and requested Zaidi and Riaz to help out the people of Karachi.

The DMC Central chairman was also present on the occasion. He shared that more than 300 dumpers had lifted garbage from the Sirajud Daulah GTS. The mayor thanked Raiz for sending heavy machinery at his request. He said waste collection was not his responsibility and those who had been tasked with the job had failed.