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September 10, 2019

Ghani decries forming of yet another committee for city’s issues


September 10, 2019

Sindh’s information minister has said that the forming of yet another committee by Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve Karachi’s issues will not help until the federal government demonstrates its seriousness by immediately releasing the Rs162 billion that was the premier’s promised development package for the city.

A statement issued on Monday quoted Saeed Ghani saying this in reaction to the constitution of a committee headed by Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem to devise a plan of action to resolve the civic and developmental issues of the city.

The Frontier Works Organisation director general, Federal Planning & Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi and other Karachi-based lawmakers have reportedly been named members of the committee.

In his reaction to the PM’s move, Ghani said the Sindh government will spend $1.9 billion on the city’s development in collaboration with the World Bank. He said the city’s water supply and sewerage system will be significantly overhauled under the same plan.

“On the contrary, the prime minister and his ineligible cabinet have been merely holding meetings and constituting committees to give the impression through the media that they are deeply concerned about Karachi, but in fact they have no regard for the city.”

He reiterated his stance that Zaidi had launched a clean-up campaign out of concern for Karachi, but several thousand tonnes of waste removed from storm water drains was openly dumped on the roadsides, in the parks and playgrounds and on the streets of the city. “This was done for politicking on the issue.”

The information minister said that to prove their sincerity and sympathy towards Karachi, the PM and his cabinet members should ensure that Rs162 billion is given to the city as the promised development package.

He said the Sindh government will start work on two sections of the bus rapid transit project: the Red Line and the Yellow Line. He added that the provincial administration will spend Rs22 billion in the current financial year on health care services for the people of Karachi.

He demanded that PM Khan immediately sanction an additional 1,200 cusecs for the city and take action against Zaidi for littering. In such a manner, he said, the premier will prove his sympathies for Karachi’s people.

During his visit to the Nishtar Park, where the central congregation of 9th Muharram was held, Ghani claimed that the same troublemakers who had caused a civic mess in the city had stuffed gunny bags in sewerage lines during the sacred days of Muharram to create hardships for the mourners.

“Such bags were also found in the sewers on Baba-e-Urdu Road,” he said. He added that the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board had been ordered to take emergency measures to clear the drains and sewers so that the mourners were saved from trouble during Muharram.

Strategic committee

Dr Naseem told the media that the Karachi Strategic Committee will comprise 12 Karachi-based legislators: six each from the PTI and the MQM-Pakistan. He said the committee will mainly provide recommendations to resolve the city’s administrative problems. He added that among other issues, resolving the problem of municipal waste and related civic problems should be the focus. The law minister said a permanent solution needs to be found for the removal of garbage from across the city and for properly disposing of the trash at the designated landfill sites.

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