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July 10, 2020

Cleaning of nullahs launched all over Sindh under rain emergency: CM Murad Ali Shah


July 10, 2020

Under the World Bank’s Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency project (SWEEP) of $11 million, a pre-drone survey has been conducted of all the 38 nullahs of the KMC, while an environmental and socio-economic management survey is being carried out of these nullahs and garbage dump sites in Karachi as per the requirement of the World Bank.

This was shared at a meeting held here on Thursday with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in the chair. The meeting was attended by Minister for Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Project Director Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) project Zubair Channa and others.

The chief minister said that under rain emergency arrangements, he had released Rs229 million and placed the funds at the disposal of all divisional commissioners. “I had issued directives through the chief secretary to all the deputy commissioners and the municipal commissioners to clean the nullahs and make necessary arrangements for the disposal of rainwater.” He added that the Karachi commissioner had requested for additional funds of Rs30 million, which had also been released.

Minister for Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah said that rain emergency cells had been established at the Local Government Department, the offices of the commissioners, deputy commissioners and all municipal committees, and a dedicated complaint centre having phone number 1093 had also been set up.

The chief minister said that the World Bank had agreed to invest $100 million in improving the solid waste system in Karachi.

The project, conceived in November 2019, envisages improvement in garbage transfer stations as per international standards, establishment of a modern landfill site at Dhabeji, upgrading of the Jam Chakro Landfill site, emergency intervention to clean the nullahs of Karachi, which served as the main sewage carriers of the city. The project has an allocation of $11.0 million for its emergency component.

Solid waste disposal

Briefing the chief minister, PD CLICK Project Zubair Channa said the concept note of the SWEEP Project was approved by the Planning Commission on June 8, 2020. On the recommendation of the WB and as a stop-gap arrangement, CLICK was assigned the task of SWEEP. CLICK was authorised to undertake nullah- cleaning exercise as defined in SWEEP. At this, the chief minister said that the Sindh government was investing $ 8 million from its own resources which would be later reimbursed by the World Bank.

Channa said the permission for opening an assignment account of the project had been given by the finance department as well as by the accountant general of Sindh. The National Bank would issue an account number for the purpose by coming Monday.

Methodology adopted

Channa told the chief minister that the methodology adopted for making payments to the contractors of the project was quite transparent and foolproof. He added that amounts would be paid to contractors based on the quantum of sludge taken out from nullahs and disposed of or dumped.

At Jam Chakro, a 10-acre land and a TP (Treatmet Plant)-1 (old sludge tanks) have been identified as designed dump sites for the project. Only 38 major nullas under the administrative control of the KMC will be under SWEEP.

The PD told the chief minister that pre-drone surveys had been conducted of all the 38 nullahs of the KMC, and an environmental and socio-economic management survey was being conducted across nullahs and dump sites as per the requirements of the World Bank.

District Central

The chief minister was told that the excavation or cleaning of nullahs had been started in the city. So far, 295,824 tons of garbage/sludge has been removed from different nullahs located in different districts. This includes 64,269 tons from District Central, 86,333 tons from District West, 5,5911 tons from District South, 77,001 tons from District East and 12,310 tons from District Malir.

At present, 33 excavators and 69 dumpers have been engaged in different districts to remove sludge from the nullahs. The chief minister was told that power outages by the KE and Hesco were creating issues of closure of main pumping stations at disposal points. At this, the chief minister directed the energy department to talk to the KE and Hesco and direct them to exempt the pumping stations from loadshedding.

He said the cleaning and reconstruction of nullahs in Karachi was being carried out under SWEEP. It would resolve the issue once and for all and then their maintenance would be made by the KMC, he said.

Shah added that more than 50 per cent of solid waste dumped in open nullahs was one issue and illegal allotments and encroachments along the nullahs was another. He directed the chief secretary to resolve both the issues by giving necessary directives to the relevant departments.