Mumtaz Ali Shah says markets violating sops will be sealed I Under Epidemic Diseases Act a fine of up to Rs1m can be imposed on the spot I Grievance committee set up to resolve traders’ issues

Karachi       -      Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah said that all shops and markets violating SOPs would be sealed.

Presiding over an important meeting regarding implementation on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) here at Sindh Secretariat on Wednesday, Syed Mumtaz Shah said that violation of SOPs will not be tolerated and all shops and markets violating SOPs issued by the government would be sealed.

The meeting was attended by the IGP Sindh Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, Additional Chief Secretary Home Muhammad Usman Chachar, Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Labour Department Abdul Raheed Solangi, Secretary Transport, Additional Commissioner Karachi and all DIGs, Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of Karachi division.

Speaking during the meeting, the Sindh chief secretary said that the lockdown had prevented spread of the disease.

“Now that everything is open, the disease can be prevented from spreading further by following the SOPs.”

The chief secretary further stated that all traders and trade associations had assured implementation on SOPs and have also submitted undertakings. “It is their duty to strictly implement SOPs,” he added.

Mumtaz Ali Shah further stated that there was an Epidemic Diseases Act and an ordinance in the province for violating SOPs under which a fine of up to Rs 1 million could be imposed on the spot. CS further said that police and all field officers should also protect themselves and their subordinates from the corona virus. “We’ve all worked in emergencies, but it’s a different kind of emergency,” he said. Mumtaz Ali Shah said that Sindh government had issued separate SOPs for each sector. He also directed the secretary Information Department to publish all SOPs in English, Urdu and Sindhi newspapers for public awareness.

During the meeting a grievance committee headed by the divisional commissioner was set up to resolve grievances of the traders. In the meeting, IG Sindh Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar said that while imposing fines or sealing the shops and markets the officers concerned should record the proceedings from their mobiles which would further ensure transparency of the proceedings.

The additional commissioner Karachi informed the meeting that since 5th June 170 shops, markets, bachat bazaars, parlors had been sealed in Karachi division, and total 687 violations had been recorded on which 6 FIRs had also been registered. The Sindh chief secretary directed him to submit report of action on violation of SOPs on daily basis.

Secretary transport informed participants of the meeting that so far, 87 passenger buses had been seized for violations of government orders. He informed the meeting that passenger vehicles from different districts and other provinces were coming to Karachi and Hyderabad during night against which action should be taken.

The CS directed all deputy commissioners and SSPs to take action against passenger buses in their relevant districts as there was currently a ban on public transport from one district to another. The secretary labour also informed the meeting that 87 complaints of layoffs were received and all complaints had been resolved by contacting the senior management of the relevant factories. He further informed that two complaint cells have also been established at the offices of Sindh Labour Department.