KARACHI    -   Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah Thursday said that encroachment on nullahs had made very difficult for water drainage but termed his government’s efforts ‘satisfactory’ during recent rainfall.

Responding to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Khurram Sherzaman’s call attention notice, Nasir said that Karachi had just witnessed abundant rainfall after decades, adding that the Sindh government was still able to clear all main arteries of the city.

“Will the Honourable Minister for Local Government, Sindh may please to give answer/statement that reasons for the failure of Local Government Department during rainfall in which we witnessed urban flooding throughout Karachi,” Sherzaman asked.

Nasir said that the provincial government took ‘effective’ measures that paved the way for rainwater drainage on time, adding that the city had faced urban flood in the past even after less rainfall. “We had seen Karachi flooded even after less rainfall but now everything is back to normality,” the minister claimed.

He said cleanliness of nullahs was responsibility of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and it was given Rs 550 million to carryout cleanliness ahead of the monsoon season. He also expressed gratitude to the Federal Minister for Maritimes Syed Ali Zaidi for initiating cleanliness campaign, saying that they would welcome everyone who takes step for the betterment.

The minister added that garbage lifting has been increased since ever former Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani had taken the charge. “In the past, we were dumping around 4000 tonnes garbage at landfill sites but now it has been increased up to 10000 tonnes,” he added.

Speaking on acute water shortage and collapsed sewerage system in the city, Nasir said that they had decided to revamp Karachi Water and Sewerage Board. He was of the view that there was shortage of water in Karachi against its demand, adding that they would ensure fair distribution of available amount of water. Besides he said that they were also going for desalination on directives of the Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Answering Sherzaman’s query about recent reshuffling in Sindh cabinet, Nasir said that it was the leadership decision to assign anyone for any work and ‘we all are working for the betterment of the people in the leadership of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah’.

DENGUE CASES

Separately, Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu informed the house that total 1,225 dengue cases were reported in Karachi in 2019 so far of which six patients died. She was giving assurance to Sherzman who moved an adjournment motion ‘raising’ dengue cases in the Province. The Minister said that number dengue mosquitos always increased after rainfall, adding that the health department was adopting measures to counter the situation. “We have released Rs 87 million to carryout dengue control program and are going for social mobilization, fumigation and other measures,” Dr Azra added while asking the citizens to take precautionary measures themselves. The Health Minister asked the citizens not to let stagnant water even in their homes, do netting and use mosquito repellent.

22 KILLED IN SHIKARPUR IN TWO MONTHS

Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh said 22 people were killed in Shikarpur district during last two months refuting the claim of the PTI Parliamentary Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh’s that 40 including six policemen were killed in the same period. He was responding to a calling attention notice on behalf of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah who also holds portfolio of home. Shaikh added all 22 people were not killed by notorious dacoits of Katcha but murders on personal enmity, tribal clashes and others were also included in the figures.

Later, the Speaker adjourned the house till Friday at 10am.