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November 6, 2019

PA resolution urges govt to resolve Karachi’s garbage issue


November 6, 2019

The Sindh Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution urging the provincial government to take appropriate measures to resolve the issue of unattended municipal waste in Karachi on a sustainable and permanent basis.

The resolution, which was passed on the private members’ day, was moved in the House by an opposition legislator of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Bilal Ahmed Ghaffar. Speaking on his resolution, the PTI MPA remarked that Karachi had been facing the issue of massive piles of municipal waste. He said that after remaining in power for 12 years, the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had at last realised that it was their responsibility to resolve the issue of unattended trash in the city.

Ghaffar said the Sindh government had been spending Rs300 million through local bodies of the city to dispose of municipal waste of Karachi and such an act showed the failure of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB).

Neither had the SSWMB placed dustbins in Karachi nor had it taken any measure to collect municipal waste from the city, he said, adding that a Chinese contractor company engaged by the SSWMB to collect trash from the city had lately stopped its work in some areas of the city for 10 days on the pretext of non-payment of its dues by the government.

Another PTI legislator Khurrum Sher Zaman said it seemed corruption was the reason behind the unattended municipal waste in the city. He said no system had been put in place in Karachi to dispose of its municipal waste despite the fact that the PPP had been in power for 12 years in Sindh.

Information and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani said the Chinese company would be asked to collect municipal waste from door to door in the city.

He said the contracting Chinese firms would duly get payment for the tasks performed by them. He said that payments to the Chinese contractor companies were also curtailed on the account of their slackness in collecting waste from the city.

He also informed the House that the SSWMB had not been tasked with disposing of debris of construction and other solid waste in the city. Ghani acknowledged that the SSWMB had failed to deliver as per the expectations of the public owing to certain reasons, some of which were related to the working of the Chinese contracting firms and certain decisions of the judiciary. He claimed that the recent cleanliness campaign launched by the Sindh chief minister had cleared the backlog of unattended municipal waste in the city.

Congo virus

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho told the PA that animals brought to Sindh from Balochistan were mostly responsible for bringing the virus causing Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever in the city.

She gave the statement on an adjournment motion moved in the House by PTI MPA Zaman regarding the alarming increase in Congo fever cases in Karachi where 39 cases of the disease had recently emerged.

The health minister said one of the reasons behind the increase in Congo fever cases had been the import of sacrificial animals to Karachi from all over the country on the occasion of Eidul Azha.

She said fumigation drives were conducted at the slaughterhouses, fruits and vegetables markets in the province but slackness in this regard by the authorities concerned was behind the spread of the deadly infectious disease.She added that Karachi had lately seen 33 cases of Congo fever. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla opposed the adjournment motion of the opposition legislator while the House deferred further consideration on the motion till Monday.

New barrage

Speaking on a point of order, PPP MPA Riaz Shah Shirazi said a new barrage being built in the province on the Indus River would be constructed at a distance of 40 kilometres from the coastline.

He said building the barrage in such a manner would not secure the villages situated up to 40 kilometres from the coastline in case of any cyclonic activity in the sea. Shiraz said the new barrage should have been located nearer to the coastline. He added that hundreds of thousands of acres near the coastline of the province had been affected by the phenomenon of sea intrusion and in case this issue remained unchecked, the entire Thatta district would be invaded by the sea by 2050.