KARACHI - Minister for Local Bodies Saeed Ghani Wednesday said that they had invited all stakeholders including political parties, traders and industrialists over the issue of water, sewerage and garbage lifting in the city on Friday.

“We will be briefing all the stakeholders over our performance and suggestions from the government to resolve the issues and will also take recommendations from them to overcome the issues faced by the city,” he said in a presser at PPP Media Cell along with other party leaders.

He said that all political parties including PTI, MQM-P, JI and others would be invited to the meeting so that the issues faced by the city could be resolved through mutual effort. “The Sindh government is ready to sit with anyone for ensuring maximum relief to the masses,” he said.

We have also directed all concerned authorities to speed up lifting of garbage from city and ensure maximum cleanliness in their respective areas, said the minister.

Ghani said that a perception was created from few days back that the Sindh government has itself taken responsibility of lifting garbage from the city.

Commissioners get 7-day deadline to clean up city

“This is wrong as DMCs were responsible for lifting garbage but few years back after approval from their councils, they had handed over this responsibility to the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB),” he said and added that they are ready to withdraw from the responsibility if DMCs are ready to take its charge again.

He said that the KMC and DMCs have all powers under the Sindh local government act and soon, they would be entitled to collect property tax in the city.

“If they will fulfill the targets given to them, then further collections will also be handed over to them,” he said.

He further informed that the Sindh government was transferred Rs 15 billon in terms of sales tax from federal authorities but after the 18th amendment, the revenue collected by province in terms of the tax has reached upto 100 billion.

Meanwhile, Saeed Ghani also directed the municipal commissioners to ensure lifting of garbage and cleaning of nullahs from their respective areas and submit a report within seven days.

He said this while chairing a meeting over the expected monsoon season and preparations from the municipal authorities. The meeting was attended by secretary local government Syed Khalid Hyder Shah, MD SSWMB, municipal commissioners of all DMCs and others.  The directions were conveyed to the authorities to prepare for the expected monsoon season in the city.  He also directed the DMCs to cooperate with the deputy commissioners in taking all out efforts to ensure that the clearance of water during rain spell in the city is not hindered.

The minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the garbage lifting and cleanliness drive in the city and said that the complaints from masses clearly show the apathetic condition on ground.

While giving one week warning to clear all areas and nullahs from garbage, the minister said that after the deadline ends, he would be visiting areas to monitor the situation. “If situation will not improve then municipal commissioner and SSWMB official of the area will be responsible for it,” he said.

The municipal commissioners also complained that the cantonment board officials were dumping garbage in their areas while they also had a shortage of machinery to lift garbage from the areas.

The minister directed the SSWMB MD to take notice of the issue and track report of it on daily basis. “If any complaint of cantonment board officials throwing garbage in your area is reported then the concerned deputy commissioners should not only register FIR against them but also confiscate the vehicle involved in it.”