Once called the city of winds, now Hyderabad’s air is polluted with emissions, dust and other air-borne particles. – File photo by Dawn.com
HYDERABAD: Newly elected MPAs of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) from Hyderabad have deplored Sindh government’s indifferent attitude towards resolution of basic civic issues confronting people of Hyderabad.
They said that they that present lot of officers who are heading important civic bodies have no interest in resolving these issues too therefore they do not have any confidence in them as well be it administrator of defunct Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s administrator, Director General Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA), Managing Director Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) and all those who are taking the city to the brink of disaster.
Addressing a news conference at local press club here Saturday evening, MPAs Sabir Kaimkhani, Dilawar Qureshi and Rashid Khilji said that the sanitary conditions are intolerable yet people are forced to bear with them. According to them the entire city – second biggest city of Sindh after Karachi – is presenting a view of heap garbage and government of Sindh remains inattentive to it.
Kaimkhani referred to issue of defunct HMC employees, who are deprived of payment of their salaries. Likewise, he continued, the workers of Wasa are not getting their salaries on time with the result that they take to the streets very often. He said that employees and their families are on the verge of starvation and added that accumulation of sewage in different areas due to strike of workers is posing a serious threat to the health and life of people.
He added that Wasa is an important institution but it itself has become an issue as far as its management is concerned. He disclosed that its employees are not getting salaries on time. He maintained that unannounced load-shedding by Hyderabad Electric Supply Company is complicating the issue further. “People don’t get water. When there is water power supply remains switched off,” he remarked and said that lawlessness in the city is condemnable.
Wasa, it would be relevant to mention here, is facing serous financial crunch. Federal and provincial departments owe huge liabilities under water charges. The department is seeking its payment but the departments avoid it. The recovery of water charges remains poor on the part of Wasa and the agency is seeking an increase in allocations of different provincial government departments’ budget under utility charges so that Wasa’s dues are cleared on time. Wasa used to get subsidy but it was discontinued in second regime of Nawaz Sharif.
Kaimkhani said that law enforcing agencies remain least concerned about it. He stated that if all these issues are not addressed properly then people would hold officials concerned accountable. He referred to rising crime graph in the city but police fail to control them.
To a question he said that he and his colleagues express no confidence in present civic bodies heads and all those who are taking the city to the brink of disaster. He urged protesting workers of HMC to end their strike and resume their duties.
Defunct HMC, it may be mentioned here, is going through a transitional phase ever-since Sindh government introduced Sindh Local Government Ordinance 1979, repealing Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012. MQM had quit the Sindh government in the backdrop of promulgation of SLGO 1979. The defunct HMC is supposed to control three main urban talukas of city, Latifabad and Qasimabad.
Again, this institution also faces serious financial crisis thanks to mishandling of HMC by successive officials who headed it from time to time in collusion with local parliamentarians belonging to ruling coalition.
Kaimkhani informed that MQM would raise their issues in the assemblies as well. He added that government is demonstrating stubbornness in terms of payment of employees’ pension, salaries and gratuity. He said that these employees need to call of their strike.
Previously, a large number of employees were employed in HMC in last government, putting additional financial burden on it with result that their salaries’ payments remain pending with government.
A mayor used to head defunct HMC but currently it is headed by administrator, Barkat Ahmed Rizvi, appointed by Sindh government. Last local government elections were elections were held in 2005 under Musharraf regime on non-party basis under devolution plan.