KARACHI: Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said the newly appointed Karachi Administrator will be given all the authority and funds in order to resolve the civic problems of the metropolis, The News reported on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference at the head office of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), he said: “From now onwards, all the civic agencies, utility services organisations, and federal, provincial governments’ representatives will remain completely in touch with the administrator so that we together can work for the improvement of the city.”
The minister maintained that for the very cause, he had established his own camp office at the KMC head office, adding that several mistakes had taken place along with a show of incompetence in the municipal affairs of the city. “We are now rectifying the situation,” he added.
Local Government Secretary Najam Shah and Karachi Administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani were also present on the occasion.
“For the first time, all the stakeholders have assembled at one place for Karachi as positive steps are being taken,” he said.
Shah added that the deputy commissioners had been given the additional responsibility as the head of the municipal agency of the district for a smooth transition of the authority after the expiry of the term of the local government.
‘Maximum authority for next Karachi Mayor’
Municipal agencies in the province would be empowered and strengthened, and for this purpose new legislation would be carried out, Nasir Hussain Shah said, adding that the government would maintain complete coordination with the next mayor of Karachi after the new local government elections.
Stressing that maximum authority would also be given to the next mayor, the minister said complete support was being given to the administrator to remove all the obstacles to the speedy resolution of the civic issues of Karachi.
The provincial minister noted that he was not completely satisfied with the performance of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB), but the situation was relatively good in those districts of Karachi where the SSWMB had been assigned the responsibility to dispose of the trash.
Mentioning that the government was fully aware of the water and sewerage problems of the old city areas, and a scheme had been prepared to address the issue, he said the houses built on the land of the stormwater drains would be demolished only after alternative accommodation was provided to their residents.
The minister further reiterated that the previous spell of the heavy monsoon rains wreaked havoc the city, and in its aftermath, the situation had worsened not just in areas of the KMC and the DMCs, but also in the DHA and cantonments in the city.
“Apart from the helplessness and shortcomings on the part of the administrative officials, we do confess that better arrangements should have been in place to deal with the situation of rains,” Shah said, maintaining that short-term, medium-term, and long-term development projects would be built in Karachi for the progress of the city.
Shah said that the Sindh government had signed an agreement with the World Bank to get a loan for the city for its water and sewerage projects.
“The government wanted the next local government elections to be held within 120 days as enshrined in the law, but before this fresh delimitation of constituencies should take place,” he added.