ISLAMABAD - Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said yesterday that Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar had forwarded a written request to the federal government seeking its help to resolve the urban flood situation erupted after torrential rains in the Sindh metropolis.

Flanked by Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, he told a press conference here that Wasim Akhtar had written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and requested to declare emergency in Karachi and Hyderabad as people of the area were suffering due to the mismanagement of Pakistan People’s Party’s provincial government.

The Karachi mayor’s office had sought federal government’s help through Ministry of Maritime Affairs, highlighting the problems being faced by them in flood situation management in Karachi and Hyderabad, he added.

The minister said he had held a meeting with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman and other stakeholders, who had experience of handling natural calamity issues.

Zaidi said he was in contact with NDMA and Frontier Works Organization to resolve the issue on permanent basis.

“We are going to Karachi tomorrow and will fully cooperate with Mayor Wasim Akhtar to handle the emergency situation effectively,” he added.

Due to 11-year inefficiency and mismanagement of the PPP government in Sindh, especially in the provincial capital, the minister said around 550 million gallon untreated water was being drained into the sea on daily basis.

If the practice continued for three to four years, no vessel would be able to berth at the Karachi ports due to garbage, he added.

Zaidi said it was unfortunate that instead of resolving the issue, the provincial government kept shifting responsibilities on different departments to make cleanliness arrangements and avert flash floods during rains.

He said the constituency of provincial Local Bodies Minister Saeed Ghani was the dirtiest area in country, from where 17 dumpers of garbage were lifted on daily basis by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers before elections.

He said around 38 rainy nullahs in Karachi, including Orangi, Soldier Bazaar, Mehmoodbabad, Qayyumabad and Ayesha Manzil, were choked due to dumping of garbage and required immediate attention. The roads and streets of Karachi were flooded with their spilled over water, he added.

He said law enforcement agencies were carrying out relief activities in Karachi and Hyderabad, regretting that the provincial government had failed to increase capacity of its different departments.

He said the federal government would make all-out efforts to steer the Karachi city, a business and industrial hub, out of the prevailing crisis.

Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the people of Karachi were paying the highest tax to Sindh government as compared to those residing in other cities and rural areas of the province. The mega city, however, was not getting due attention and share due to the provincial government’s conspiracies, he added.