KARACHI – The ruling Pakistan People’s Party and its ally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, have succeeded in breaking the ice on the issue of a new governance system for Sindh by reaching a consensus in this regard, sources said.

The two parties reached an agreement during a high-level meeting co-chaired by Sindh Governor Ishartul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah late on Saturday evening.

The meeting discussed the proposals from the either side so that the local government elections could be held this year. Other issues also came under discussion during the meeting.

The PPP bloc comprised Pir Mazharul Haq, Agha Siraj Durrani, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro and Muhammad Rafiq, while Federal Minister Dr Farooq Sattar, Dr Sagher Ahmed, Syed Sardar Ahmed and Kanwar Naveed Jameel were on the MQM side.

Sources privy to the meeting claimed that the MQM, in its suggestions, proposed more administrative powers for local governments in the new system. The meeting decided that the two sides would meet again to give a final form to the new governance system.

According to the sources, President Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the ruling party, wants to take the MQM as an ally even in the next elections. He has approved its suggestions as regards new local government system.

After the meeting at the CM’s House, Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani, a close aide of President Zardari, told the media that the PPP and MQM had reached an agreement on the new local government system.

He claimed that a bill would soon be presented in the Sindh Assembly in this respect.

The sources said the commissionerate system would continue in the new law but the administrative authority would be the elected mayor of the district in Karachi and Hyderabad, while the district chairmen elected would run the district councils.

World Safety Day  marked: Karachi Electric Supply Company, in line with its vision of providing safe electrical power has pledged to foster a positive health, safety and environment culture, characterized by a shared commitment to safety and hazard prevention, on the occasion of World Safety Day being observed on April 28.

Public safety being of prime consideration, KESC on this year’s World Safety Day has launched a Special Electrical and Fire Safety Awareness Campaign for Schools targeting 25,000 children over 50 schools. A few of the 60 schools where these sessions have been held include: City School PAF Chapter, Ebrahim Ali Bhai Girls Elementary School Korangi, SOS HG School, Hamdard Public School and Govt. Girls Secondary School.

Another step towards public safety has been pasting of 20,000 retro-reflective warning signs on electric poles in fatality prone areas. To provide easy access to public for reporting of hazards and immediate response an “Electronic Safe Card” has also been launched at KESC website where customers can proactively report any electricity related safety risk in advance.

On the occasion of World Safety Day, with the collaboration of all employees and stakeholders, KESC has arranged two-day observation program at Power House, Elandar Road. On the first day function on April 27, speakers reiterated KESC’s commitment towards developing and maintaining a robust safety embedded organization. They said that in order to be responsible corporate citizen and a partner of choice worldwide, KESC would remain committed to uphold the highest standards of Health, Safety and Environment management - an intrinsic value system which forms the core of the company’s corporate governance.

 KESC’s Corporate HSE Department, established in 2009 with a view to improve awareness amongst employees regarding safety, has so far trained 25,000 members of staff in all cadres through sustained safety awareness sessions. As many as 105 senior and middle management employees have also been trained on regulatory requirements and performance standards. All actions have been leaving a positive mark: A fact confirmed in the radical reduction of accidents by 33 per cent. Of this, 45 per cent reduction has been witnessed in fatalities while major incidents have been decreased by 34 per cent and minor accidents by 26 per cent. In a very short span of over two years, KESC has won 2 different National Awards on Safety.