KARACHI          -        Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that some `politically immature’ people were talking about imposition of Article 149 in the city to bring Karachi under the federal government’s rule.

He was talking to the media just after completing his visit to different parts of the city on Monday where he had gone to review offal lifting and the ongoing cleanliness work of rain nullahs.

He was accompanied by Provincial Minister for Education Saeed Ghani, Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and his Advisor Murtaza Wahab.

Responding to a question that a federal minister and some other responsible people had given statements that the provincial capital would be put under the administrative control of the federal government under Article 149 of the Constitution, the chief minister replied that the statement was beyond his comprehension. “It is a bubble of hot air and would fizzle out itself,” he said, and advised the media not to take ‘political orphans’ seriously.

To another question, Murad Shah said that during the recent downpour in the city on July 26 and 27, rainwater accumulated and flooded those areas where traditionally it used to be drained out. “During my visit today, I met with the people of District Central and they pointed out defects in the design of Green Line project,” he said, and added, “Reham Hashmi, the Chairman of DMC Central, gave me a detailed briefing on these defects and personally showed me all those areas where the pillars of Green Line’s infrastructure had either been constructed within the nullahs or alongside the nullahs, therefore blocking smooth drainage of the rainwater,” he said.

The CM urged the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (SIDCL) or what it is known as KIDCL to consult with the local people before launching any project.

“The consultations would minimize the chances of duplication of the works and design defects,” the chief minister said. Murad claimed that he had been releasing funds for cleaning the drains for the last many years. “Yes, the nullahs are cleaned every year, but due to encroachments some of the portions of these nullahs are always left out; therefore they get choked every time it rains heavily,” he said.

The chief minister said that port city’s drains were being cleaned under the World Bank project, SWEEP. “I am telling the people loud and clear that the World Bank has not released funds so far and whatever funds are being utilised have been released by his government,” he said, and added that he would address all the major issues related to drainage and infrastructure in consultation with the KMC and KDA officials.

The CM said that he would visit Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar shortly where another spell of heavy downpour was expected from August 6.

CM visits offal dumping site: Earlier, Murad visited offal dumping site at Qayumabad where a proper camp was set up to weigh the offal being brought there. Briefing the chief minister on the occasion, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board MD Kashif Gulzar said that over 31,050 tonnes of offal had been lifted from six districts of the city up till August 2, including 7,892 from South, 9,351 from East, 3,738 from Malir, 5,918 from West and 4,151 from Korangi while the figures of district Central were yet to be compiled.

The chief minister was told that 85 offal collection points had been set up all over the city from where they were picked up and dumped at Gondpas, Jam Chakro, near Sharafi Goth, and Korangi Crossing.

Mahmoodabad Nullah: The chief minister, just after visiting Qayoomabad, went to Mahmoodabad to inspect a nullah known as Zahri House Nullah at Shara-e-Faisal where a major choking point was dug up to clear it.

SWEEP PD Zubair Channa told the chief minister that the Mahmoodabad Nullah, coming from Tipu Sultan, was clear but it had a serious choking point under Shara-e-Faisal.

The chief minister examined portion of the nullah and noticed that its design was in zigzag shape. “This zigzag-shaped nullah under the road will always be problematic; therefore a straight crossing should be constructed under the road along the existing zigzag culvert,” he said, and directed SWEEP PD to reconstruct it accordingly.

Gujjar Nullah: When Sindh chief minister reached Gujjar Nullah at Liaquatabad No.4, people of the area gathered and told him that the rainwater had choked the drain, as a result of which the rainwater, mixed with sewage, had flooded their streets and even homes.

The chief minister then and there called the municipal commissioner, district Central and directed him to clear their homes and report to him.

The chief minister also visited the offal collection point set up near Eidgah Ground, district Central.

Green Line issues: DMC Central Chairman Rehan Hashmi, while briefing the chief minister at Saifee College, said that the entire track of Green Line project, from KDA Chowrangi to Nagan Chowarngi, had been constructed either alongside the nullah or within the nullah.

He added that this was a serious defect in the design of the project, and without removing it the area could not be made secure from the consequences of heavy downpour.

Hashmi said that Hyderi Market was inundated with rainwater because the nullah was blocked due to the construction of the Green Line.

The chief minister visited the Nagan Chowrangi, KDA Chowrangi and Hyderi Market and inspected the problematic points on the track of Green Line project, which Rehan Hashmi had pointed out. The chief minister assured the chairman that he would take up the matter with the federal government and resolve the design defects of the project.