The Sindh government is planning to bring reforms in the present local government system, for which Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has formed a committee to give suggestions regarding empowerment of the Karachi mayor and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
This was stated by Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah as he spoke with The News on Sunday. He was of the view that the mayor was already enjoying all the powers under the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 but the government was planning to empower him more.
When asked to comment on the mayor’s demand for the devolution of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board and Sindh Building Control Authority to the local government, Nasir declined to make any remark and said he did not want to create any controversy.
“I do not want to criticise the mayor and the KMC municipal commissioner. Let them do their work,” the local government minister said, adding that he was satisfied with the performance of the KMC.
K-IV project and buses
To a query related to the K-IV bulk water supply project, he maintained that the Sindh government was committed to completing the first phase of the project and had been in touch with the federal government in this regard.
He called K-IV a crucial project for the provincial capital and said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was keen to complete it.
Nasir asserted that that government would bring in 200 buses to Karachi to resolve the public transport problems of the city.
The orders of the Supreme Court related to the removal of encroachments and illegal structures in the city will by implemented in letter and spirit, the local government said. He, however, added that the PPP government did not want to deprive people of shelter but it would implement the court orders.
He said those goths and katchi abadis that had been given lease by the provincial government would not be affected in the anti-encroachment operations. All the encroachments on the railway land would be removed, he added.
When asked about the issues of dilapidated roads and garbage in the city, he said it had not been long since he took charge as the local government minister and he was looking into all the civic problems of Karachi.
He expressed concern over the closure of CNG stations in the city, saying that it was not his domain but he had to raise the issue as the people of Karachi were badly affected by it. He lamented that the shortage of gas in Karachi was causing problems for its industries, due to which workers were being laid off.
New SBCA DG
As the apex court has directed the Sindh government to change the SBCA director general (DG), Nasir said he had started consultations with the Sindh chief secretary for the new DG.
He said a competent person would be made the SBCA DG soon. It may be noted here that the PPP has recently been talking about its willingness to empower the local governments, especially after Bilawal offered the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to join the Sindh government after leaving the coalition led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the federal government.
Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, whose portfolio of the information ministry was changed with the education ministry portfolio in the recent cabinet reshuffle that happened last week, also told The News on Sunday that the time was near when the MQM-P would have to part ways with the PTI.
If the MQM-P remained with the PTI, they would also have to face the music for the mistakes of the PTI, Ghani said, adding that the economy of the country had been destroyed during the one-and-a-half-year tenure of the PTI government. He remarked that a tsunami of inflation had been unleashed on the people by the federal government.
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