KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday directed local government department to work out a detailed plan for desilting, cleaning and repair of drains, including natural storm water drains so that funds could be released in time.

“I want all the DCs, local bodies and water boards should be taken on board while envisaging a rain emergency plan so that full and final action could be taken,” he said while presiding over a rain emergency meeting here at the CM House.

The meeting was attended by Minister Local Government Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani, Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, MD Water Board Asadullah Khan and other officials. The divisional commissioners and local body representatives, mayors and chairmen joined the meeting through video link.

Mayor Karachi told the chief minister that he was facing a financial shortfall to carry out de-silting of drains. At this, the chief minister advised the mayor to enhance KMC financial resources, however, the Sindh government would cover up the shortfall and finance de-silting of the drains. The chief minister directed Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh to send him financial requirements through secretary finance. “You have to move a summary today so that timely action can be taken,” he said. Shah said that a $11 million World Bank project was in pipeline and most probably it would start within the next four months under which almost all the major drains of Karachi would be lined.

“We will construct fencing around the nullas so that no encroachment can take place,” he said and added almost all the newly constructed major roads of the city had storm water drains along with them, therefore, he was sure that rainwater would be disposed of in gravity, if their concerned nullas in which they [drains] discharge were cleaned and de-silted. It was pointed out that some civil works of different nullas in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur were required. The secretary local government told the CM said that taking all the concerned deputy commissioners on board he had sent a summary of Rs229 million for the chief minister.

The chief minister directed the mayor and commissioner Karachi to work out a plan to avoid Saadi Town like the situation of last year. He directed Mayor Karachi to expedite ongoing work on Mehran Nulla so that it may not overflow again and create havoc in Saadi Town. Shah also directed Commissioner Karachi to coordinate with K-Electric authorities for proper and uninterrupted power supply to the pumping stations of the Karachi water board.

The meeting decided that all the deputy commissioners would generate their requirement of suction machines, generators, pipes etc, and send the same to PDMA so that the same could be arranged accordingly. It was also decided that hoardings, unnecessary cables and such other display boards would be removed before commencement of the monsoon.

Commissioner Hyderabad told the chief minister that Rs70 million were required for the rain emergency of WASA and HESCO. Under the planned works, seven nullas would be desilted, cleaned and repaired. The chief minister said that he would release funds in the first week of July, however, he directed the commissioner to start work.

The chief minister said that work on all the seven nullas must be started at once. He said that Hesco had to be prepared to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the pumping machines of WASA so that rainwater could be disposed of. He directed the commissioner Hyderabad to ensure repair and maintenance of the generators and pumping machines available with deputy commissioner and other departments so they could be used in case of emergency.

It was pointed out that the WASA has some issues of payment of power bills and need extra staff. AT this, the chief minister directed Minister Local Government Syed Nasir Shah to visit Hyderabad and address all their outstanding issues.

Shaheed Benazirabad: The chief minister was told that low-lying areas had been identified where mostly rainwater accumulates. De-silting of nalas and natural drains have been started and almost 70 percent of work has been done. AT this, the chief minister directed Shaheed Benazirabad district administration to expedite the work as the monsoon was approaching fast.

It was pointed out that a good stock of dewatering pumps was available with the district administration of Shaheed Benazirabad division.

Mirpurkhas: The chief minister directed Commissioner Mirpurkhas to focus on the cleaning of municipal and town committees’ nullas and sewerage system.

Sukkur: Commissioner told the chief minister that he was desilting all nullas of the city and they would properly discharge rainwater. He, however, pointed out the issue of cattle colonies being set up for sacrificial animals. The chief minister said that there would be no cattle colony anywhere in Sindh.

Larkana: The commissioner and Mayor Larkana told the chief minister that they were repairing their stormwater drains and hopefully the city would not inundate. Shah urged them to take appropriate preparation to save low-lying areas.