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April 7, 2020

Mayor warns govt he could join protest by doctors, medical staff

Karachi

April 7, 2020

The city mayor has warned the Sindh government that he could join the protesting doctors and medical staff in their demonstration if the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) was not provided with the money announced for the increment in their salaries by 15 per cent.

“In fact, I will lead their protest if the fund is not released,” said Wasim Akhtar while talking to media on Monday. He said the Sindh government had announced a 15 per cent increment in the salaries of doctors and paramedics but the KMC could not pay the amount as the provincial government did not release the fund.

"We understand that it is a difficult time for the government too, owing to the current situation due to the coronavirus,” he said, and added that the KMC had written many letters to the Sindh government in this regard.

“The doctors and paramedics are performing at the front. They should be paid at the earliest,” he stressed. The KMC and the District Municipal Corporations (DMCs), he said, were functional and serving people despite limited resources.

"It is a difficult time,” he said and added that joint efforts were needed to overcome the current chaos by keeping political differences aside. Akhtar, however, regretted that despite his repeated calls for making coordinated efforts against the virus spread, the federal and the provincial governments did not take the local government elected representatives on board.

“The local bodies representatives can play a vital role in the current circumstances and become part of the chief minister’s team,” he said and regretted that both the Centre and Sindh had been neglecting the third tier of the government.

He was speaking to media after a fumigation campaign from the Shaheen Complex to the Tower area. The mayor said the LG representatives were well aware of local issues and could help in controlling the pandemic during the lockdown.

Keeping in view the coronavirus pandemic, he said, that fumigation drives were being carried out on roads and in food streets. From the Water Pump area to Sohrab Goth, he said, they would carry out a fumigation drive on Tuesday (today).

He said the purpose of fumigation was to stop the spread of novel coronavirus and provide people with a healthy environment. The mayor said fire tenders and 40 Suzuki pickups were taking part in the drive.

He said the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), which has recently been reactivated by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, was carrying out drives for ration distribution “without any advertisement and selfies”.