KARACHI - Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said the newly appointed Karachi administrator will be given all the authority and funds to adequately empower him to resolve the civic problems of the city.

“From now onwards, all the civic agencies, utility services organisations, and federal, provincial governments’ representatives will remain completely in touch with Karachi’s administrator so that we together can work for the improvement of the city,” he told a press conference at the head office of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation on Wednesday.

Local Government Secretary Najam Shah and Karachi Administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani were also present on the occasion. The minister said that for the very cause, he had established his own camp office at the KMC head office. He said several mistakes had taken place along with a show of incompetence in the municipal affairs of the city, and “we are now rectifying the situation”.

“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 smooth transition of the authority after the expiry of the term of the elected local government leadership in the province.

He said the municipal agencies in the province would be empowered and strengthened, and for the purpose new legislation would be carried out. He said the government would maintain complete coordination with the next mayor of Karachi after the new local government elections. He said 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. He said 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.

He said the houses built on the land of the storm water drains would be demolished only after alternative accommodation was provided to their residents. He said 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.

Shah said that previous spell of the heavy monsoon rains proved to be quite extraordinary and devastating for 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 short-term, medium-term, and long-term development projects would be built in Karachi for progress of the city.

He 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. He said the government wanted the next local government elections to be held within 120 days as enshrined in the law, but before this fresh delimitations of constituencies should take place.

Administrator orders 

swift repairs

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani has ordered repairing sewerage lines and footpaths, as well as lifting garbage from Jahangir Road, Peoples Chowrangi, Liaquatabad and adjacent areas by October 5. “The hub of garbage lying outside the Liaquatabad Super Market should be lifted and trees should be planted,” he said in a statement issued by the KMC.

Footpaths near the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah should also be repaired, he said after visiting different areas of the city. Director General Works Iqtidar Ahmed, Senior Director Coordination Masood Alam, Chief Engineer East Shabeeh ul Hassan Zaidi, assistant executive engineers of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and other officials were also present on the occasion.

The administrator visited Jahangir Road, Peoples Chowrangi, Liaquatabad, Teen Hatti and other adjacent areas, and reviewed works being carried out to restore infrastructure there. He said the people were facing hardships due to the collapsed sewerage system on Jahangir Road, and the ongoing repair work should therefore be completed at the earliest. He also directed that footpaths which were in a dilapidated condition should be repaired. The administrator said that it was important to make the arteries of Karachi motorable, besides fixing sewerage issues so that the newly constructed roads could last longer. Taking notice of a pile of garbage outside the Liaquatabad Super Market, he directed that the litter should be lifted forthwith and trees planted to provide a healthy environment to buyers, who came to the market in large numbers.