KARACHI: Sindh's Prime Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, visited the metropolis to review the progress of the garbage collection campaign, called Clean My Karachi, started on Saturday by the provincial government.
He directed the city administration to eliminate invasions under overpasses and impose fines on builders who throw debris from their buildings under construction on the streets and take strict measures against those who throw garbage on the streets.
"This habit of littering and littering the streets will not stop for those who do it continuously until they get heavy fines," he said.
The mayor of Karachi, Wasim Akhtar, and members of the provincial cabinet accompanied the prime minister on his visit that lasted about five hours.
He visited the six districts of the metropolis and was duly received by the president of the district municipal corporation (DMC), the deputy commissioner (DC) and the police superintendent (SSP) in question.
The CM visits parts of the city together with the mayor to monitor the first day of the "Clean My Karachi" campaign
Shah began his visit from the Shireen Jinnah Colony, where he ordered the commissioner to ask a builder to remove the debris he had thrown on the road leading to Ziauddin Hospital.
"If the rubble is not removed tomorrow, construction work will be stopped in the building and a heavy fine will be imposed," said CM.
The street along the Aga Khan Laboratory in Clifton Block-2 did not offer an optimistic view as the gutters overflowed, so the main minister asked the Karachi Water and Sewer Board to clean the area before dawn Sunday, or the engineer in question would face the music.
In the Shireen Jinnah colony, Mr. Shah visited the makeshift trash transfer station (GTS) where waste, which was lifted from the southern district, was dumped for later transportation to designated landfills.
Shah visited Qayyumabad where Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi met him.
A government spokesman said people in the area sang slogans in favor of the prime minister and appreciated him for his initiative.
Mr. Shah went to Korangi No 1 at T&T Colony where the trash, lifted from different areas, was thrown into the GTS. He directed the Korangi DC to eliminate invasions along the main streets and improve the drainage system with the help of the KWSB.
He also visited the industrial area of Korangi before leaving for the Sohrab Goth and Jamali Pul areas of Karachi East to visit a temporary GTS established there.
Piles of garbage were being removed from Al Azam Square that caused a bad smell.
He asked DC East to make sure no trash was thrown on the streets and that people received kachra kundis [large garbage bins] to encourage them to litter there.
He went to Liaquatabad No. 10, where he was received by the president of DMC Central, Rehan Hashmi. He witnessed the removal of garbage from Liaquatabad and its surroundings and went to a land located behind the network station. The prime minister asked the president of DC and DMC to convert the plot into a temporary GTS.
The residents of the area told Mr. Shah that they usually burn the garbage in which the prime minister asked the administration to take care of that.
Karachi generates 16,000 tons of garbage daily
Later, speaking with reporters, Shah said that the establishment of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) was to help local governments and make use of garbage for electricity generation and urea production.
He said the plan was being implemented since the establishment of a power plant was in the letters.
He said that when SSWMB was established, the city was generating 8,000 tons of garbage and the DMC used to lift half, leaving a lot of work late every day.
"Currently, Karachi is generating 16,000 tons of garbage and the DMCs that work with SSWMB are lifting normal garbage, however, the accumulation of orders is still there," he said.
He said that when SSWMB and DMC failed to lift the garbage, particularly late work, the garbage policy began in the city "and that was the moment I had to intervene."
He said the momentum was vigorous and would continue for a month and that "people will witness the difference."
Regarding the delay, CM Shah said that people had started filing applications against the SSWMB and a water commission ordered by the Supreme Court raised a series of questions against their performance and, subsequently, the provincial government suspended the payment of wandering contractors.
He said SSWMB's work was severely affected and slowed further during the three-month interregno due to the 2018 elections. "All these factors turned the city into a mountain of garbage."
The prime minister said the federal government in its Clean Karachi campaign had thrown only 23,000 tons of garbage into the landfill, while SSWMB lifted 13,000 tons of garbage daily.
Shah said he would visit the city every day to see first hand the progress of the trip. In addition, he added, he had also commissioned his ministers and the mayor to supervise him.
Posted on Dawn, September 22, 2019