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September 3, 2019

Opposition MPAs lament deteriorating sanitation in city


September 3, 2019

Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani has appealed to the people of Karachi to help the authorities identify mischievous elements that are involved in choking sewerage lines by stuffing gunny bags in them in order to stop the drainage of rainwater and sewage.

He said this on Monday at the Sindh Assembly while responding to various call-attention notices of the opposition’s legislators about the worsening sanitation and other civic conditions of the city in the wake of monsoon rains.

Ghani said there had been different causes behind sanitation problems in different areas of Karachi. He said several localities of the city had been without proper network of sewage lines of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board. He added that complaints were also being received regarding throwing gunny bags in the sewerage infrastructure of different areas to choke it up.

He informed the House that the situation of sewerage system had also become bad due to the presence of several shanty settlements in the city.

He said an agreement had been signed with the World Bank to revamp water supply and sewerage systems in the city and the civic conditions of the city would improve once the agreement was implemented.

The information minister said the situation of cleanliness in the city needed to be improved on an emergency basis in view of the sacred month of Muharramul Haram to save the citizens from undue hardships.

Speaking on a point of order, opposition lawmaker of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Syed Abdul Rasheed said there had been serious issues of sewage overflow in his constituency in the Lyari area. He called for an inquiry to identify the elements involved in stuffing gunny bags in the sewage lines.

Rasheed said monsoon rains in the city had been causing serious hardships to the citizens and that was why the people of Karachi had stopped praying for rain. Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan MPA Mufti Qasim Fakhri said there could be an outbreak of contagious diseases in the city due to the infestation of flies and mosquitoes in the aftermath of the rains.

He said people in his constituency in Baldia Town had been enormously suffering due to the worsened situation of sanitation. He lamented that due to poor sanitation, sewage entered into a mosque in his constituency up to its pulpit. He added that the chairman of the union committee had been apathetic about the situation.

Speaking on his point of order, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman said some of the basic civic services in his constituency in Clifton had been completely missing.

He said the abundance of stray dogs and piles of unattended municipal waste in different areas of Clifton had been causing serious distress to the residents. The PTI legislator said the residents of different areas of Clifton had to spend sleepless nights due to the menace of stray dogs.

Responding to a call-attention notice, Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla criticised politicking over the issue of unattended garbage in the city. He alleged that a heap of garbage had been present near a temple in the Clifton area and the Karachi mayor and the director general parks of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had forcibly stopped the sanitation staff from removing the garbage from that place.

The parliamentary affairs minister said he had been compelled to speak on such issues in the House over such unscrupulous acts of the mayor. He claimed that he had conveyed his concerns over such acts of the mayor to Faisal Subzwari and Khawaja Izharul Hassan, two leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the political party with which the mayor was affiliated.

Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani said public servants resorting to such acts would be summoned to the relevant committees of the Sindh Assembly to hold them accountable. Later, MQM-P lawmaker Mangla Sharma, speaking on a point of order, urged the government to designate proper alternative routes for people using MA Jinnah Road as a large portion of it had been closed for a while due to the construction of the corridor for the Green Line bus service.

Speaking on another point of order, PTI MPA Shahzad Qureshi demanded that a joint investigation team be constituted by the government to inquire into the recent death of a student in Karachi during a swimming class at school. He said the aggrieved parents of the deceased child were not satisfied with the police investigation so far carried out in the case. Later, the speaker announced that the current prolonged session of the Sindh Assembly, which had been in progress since June this year, was prorogued.