KARACHI            -      Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday said that rain drains were not cleaned since 2018 when the funds of Rs500 million were released on the directives of the apex court.

He said the Supreme Court had given similar directives in 2017, and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had told the court that Rs1.12 billion would be spent on the project.

The court had asked the provincial government to release the amount, but it released only Rs 500 million. “The tenders were issued and I overviewed the cleanliness drive then,” he said.

In a statement issued here, the mayor said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had issued urban flood warning, and he had held a presser to apprise authorities concerned that the KMC didn’t have sufficient funds to carry out cleanliness of drains.

Wasim said that he had written to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah several times, and asked for cleaning the drains, but the provincial government didn’t pay heed.

“In a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and attended by Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and others, it was decided that CLICK would carry out cleanliness of drains in Karachi under the supervision of Zubair Channa, who was Project Director and represented the World Bank,” he recalled.

He said it was also decided that the KMC would provide technical assistance for the project.

Akhtar was of the view that the KMC had provided lists of drains and details about chocked points to the CLICK that initiated the cleanliness.

“Cleanliness of drains is not a permanent solution as garbage is still being dumped in nullahs,” he said, and added, “The issue will persist until garbage disposal system is upgraded.”.

He added that only Rs 500 million were released to the KMC for the drains’ cleanliness in the last four years and details of the expenditures had already been given to the Sindh government.

He also denied that the funds were issued to KMC every year for the purpose, adding that the condition of drains in Karachi was miserable as they were full of garbage. “There are 500 small drains in under administrative control of DMCs and no funds were issued for their cleanliness. Karachi needs a help and someone who should own it. There is dire need to resolve the city’s issues on urgent basis. Laws should be amended and a special package should be announced for the city,” the mayor stressed.