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June 23, 2020

Call for immediate plan of action to save Karachi from flooding

Karachi

June 23, 2020

Central District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Chairman Rehan Hashmi said on Monday that they need an immediate plan of action to save Karachi from flooding in the upcoming monsoon rains.

Hashmi said that in the past four years of their tenure, the Sindh government had issued them Rs10 million only once for the cleaning of the city’s storm water drains. The chairmen of the East, Central and Korangi DMCs held a joint news conference at the Karachi Press Club regarding the situation of the upcoming monsoon rains in the city.

Hashmi said that the city’s storm water drains have turned into sewage drains. He said that after a spell of rainfall, sewage and rainwater cause the storm water drains to overflow.

The Central DMC chairman said they were provided with Rs10 million once in four years for the cleaning of the storm water drains, and that too on the orders of the water commission. “We’re not even able to pay the salaries of our employees,” he said, adding that they had the authority to collect even sales tax during the previous local government’s tenure. He pointed out that they have not hired even one employee for any of the DMCs.

He lamented that they have also been deprived of the Octroi & Zila Tax. He said that this year the city may experience 20 per cent more rainfall, for which the provincial government needs to pay heed. As for Eidul Azha, he stressed taking extra measures for it.

‘Get serious’

East DMC Chairman Moeed Anwar said that the Sindh government needs to get serious regarding the cleaning of the storm water drains. “If the drains aren’t cleaned, problems will arise.”

He said that last year the federal government had to step in for the cleaning of the storm water drains, recalling that Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi had come forward for the exercise.

Anwar asked that if the Sindh government does not release the funds, how will they clean the storm water drains. He pointed out that most of the drains are located at the banks of unplanned settlements.

He said that they did not hold any press conferences on the subject in the past four years because they had pinned their hopes on the provincial government. The East DMC chairman said that the machineries they had handed over to the Sindh government were now rusting away at their workshops. He said they have written to every forum possible about the cleaning of the storm water drains.

He lamented that the provincial government only holds meetings but has nothing to show for it on the ground. He pointed out that the DMCs used to collect property taxes but now they have been barred from doing so.

Cleaning in South

A press statement from the South DMC stated that it had carried out cleaning work of storm water drains and manholes in different parts of the district.

They carried out the cleaning work with heavy machineries in the Hijrat Colony drain, Bath Island, the Jubilee drain, the Haroonabad drain, the drain on MA Jinnah Road towards Gul Plaza and Tower, at the Light House and at the Police headquarters in Garden.

Moreover, de-silting work of the storm water drain was carried out from Dua Chowrangi to all the way until Shireen Jinnah Colony. South DMC Chairman Malik Fayyaz and Municipal Commissioner Akhtar Ali Sheikh visited different areas of the district.

Fayyaz said that District South is seven feet below the sea level, because of which they had to pump the accumulated sewage and rainwater towards the sea. He said that the storm water drains of other districts also cause the drains of District South to overflow, which causes immense pressure on the latter drains.