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August 10, 2020

NDMA, FWO saved Karachi from rain disaster, says governor Imran Ismail

Karachi

August 10, 2020

Sindh’s governor said on Sunday that Karachi’s situation would have been a lot worse after the latest spell of monsoon showers if the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) had not stepped in to de-silt three of the city’s major storm water drains.

Imran Ismail was talking to the media after launching Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tree plantation campaign for the province by planting a sapling. He was accompanied by Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and volunteers of the federal government’s Tiger Force.

The governor said that the tree plantation drive is being carried out in different parts of the city with the involvement of the people’s elected representatives and Tiger Force volunteers to overcome environmental degradation. He said the PM had resolved to plant 10 billion trees across the country in five years.

Referring to the issue of sanitation in Karachi, Ismail said he was deeply saddened after seeing the city’s plight, but the premier was completely resolved to transforming the situation. The governor said that in the past, the city’s parks had been cleared to build commercial plazas in their place, but such an anti-social practice will no longer be allowed to continue because spaces reserved for amenity purposes will be used to construct only parks.

He appreciated the services of the mayor and Municipal Commissioner Dr Syed Saifur Rehman for reviving the Kidney Hill Park. Ismail said the PM is expected to visit Karachi on Wednesday, adding that he will ask him to visit the park.

Replying to a query regarding the term of the elected local government representatives in Sindh about to end and administrators to be appointed in their place, the governor said that administrators without any political affiliation will be appointed across the province because they will be in a better position to serve the people without discrimination.

‘World record’

The National Forum for Environment & Health (NFEH) and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) warmly welcomed the PM’s initiative for countrywide tree plantation while utilising the newly formed Tiger Force, according to a statement issued to the media.

NFEH President Naeem Qureshi, who also is the convener of the FPCCI Standing Committee on Environment, praised the initiative of the premier to plant 3.5 million saplings in a day to set a “new world record”.

He said that both the FPCCI and the NFEH will fully back the initiative in whatever manner they can. He also said that availing the services of the Tiger Force for the tree plantation drive is the best use of volunteers for a noble national cause.

He hoped that the PM’s initiative would go a long way in increasing the country’s green cover and reversing the alarming phenomenon of environmental degradation. He said the initiative will also further the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign and the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme of the present government. He also said that both the FPCCI and the NFEH have been doing their best to promote the tree plantation drive in the country.

Qureshi said the FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Environment has been acting as a facilitator to gather all the relevant government agencies, NGOs and industries, and the corporate sector on a common platform to combine all of their resources for tree plantation. This monsoon season is being used to increase green cover, he added.