KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Thursday evening paid surprise visits to Timber Market, Ghasmandi, Ranchhor Lane, Garden, Golimar and Rizvia Chowrangi.

At Ranchhor Lane, the CM came out of his vehicle and met with the people to listen their problems. The people of the area gathered around him and told him their problems of cleanliness, water shortage and encroachment but they thanked Chief Minister Syed Qaim for restoring law and order in the city.

He said that the PPP is serving people of the country in general and Sindh in particular from the last four decades. "But our opponents and critics are leveling baseless allegations of corruption just to discredit our performance and sacrifices."

This he said while talking to media at Golimar Chowrangi during his visit to District South and old city areas. He was accompanied by Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui, Administrator KMC Sajjid Abbasi, MD Water Board Misbahuddin, Rashid Rabbani and others.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that corruption is not only in Sindh or Pakistan but it is all over the world.

"The drum beating of corruption is aimed at defaming and discrediting the elected governments. But our people are well aware and better judges. Had we not served them they would have not voted the PPP to power again and again," he said.

"We are going to establish an Ehtesab Commission of Sindh and it would be made so strong and effective that it would not spare any corrupt element. It is my commitment with the people of Sindh," he reiterated. Replying to another question, he said that the private schools have been told categorically to reduce the enhanced fees; otherwise action would be taken accordingly.

"I have respect for educational institutions and their teaching staff. I cannot deny their role in spreading quality education and improving literacy ratio. But, I have a little complaint against them that they are turning this prophetic profession into a profit-making businessmen," he deplored.

The chief minister expressed displeasure on the issues of cleanliness and directed the DMC South to remove the heaps of garbage from the area; otherwise strict action would be taken.

"I would be visiting different areas of the city and personally monitor the performance of the officers," he disclosed. He also directed IG police to improve traffic management in the old areas.

"This problem would be solved if encroachment is removed," he said and directed the minister local government to evolve close coordination between traffic police and local bodies.

The chief minister inspected the development works such as construction of sewerage system at Golimar and on-going work on Golimar flyover/underpass where the consultant of the project Nadeem Ansari briefed him about the project. The chief minister directed them to complete the project as soon as possible in the larger interest of the people of Karachi. Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Department of Culture, Tourism & Antiquities Government Sindh and e Endowment Fund Trust (EFT) for the preservation, restoration and conservation of eleven protected heritage monuments.

The sites that will to be restored include, the Muhammad Bin Qasim Fort Tower, Mausoleum of Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhora, Ranikot Fort, Diwan Shurfa Khan Tomb at Makli, Satyan Jo Astan Sukkur, Tomb of Shah Baharo Larkana, Mir Tombs Hyderabad, Mian Adam Shah Kalhoro Tomb Sukkur, Tile work of Dabgir Mosque, Jain Temples and Sati Stones Tharparkar, said a press release issued.

The works will be carried out under the supervision of a Sub-Committee of the department of Culture Tourism & Antiquities and EFT, which will be executed by the Project Director, EFT.

An annual work plan indicating the activities with the assistance and the consultation of the Culture Tourism & Antiquities department will be worked out. Funds for restoration will be provided by the EFT and necessary technical and ground staff of the department will join the group for on-site training. Report of activities will be placed on the internet.

Negotiations between the Culture department and the EFT have been going on for sometimes and both the institutions have agreed to step up restoration works on these important sites, a step to be taken for the first time in Sindh.

The MOU was signed by the Secretary of department and the Secretary, EFT in the presence of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Sharmila Farooqi. Farooqi emphasised the need for public awareness, ownership and public participation to ensure that heritage sites all over Sindh are saved through public vigil.

Work has already started on important sites with the permission of the department viz; the Ranikot Fort which is comprehensively being restored for the first time in Pakistan. The Shah Baharo mausoleum and Ghulam Shah Kalhora monument & Fort is also under restoration. The work on the other sites will commence soon.