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KARACHI: The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation is learnt to have approached the provincial government for exemption from going through the “lengthy and cumbersome” procedure under the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules for completing the cleaning of storm-water drains and sewers in the metropolis before the upcoming monsoon in June.

Informed sources said that cleaning of storm-water drains and sewers in the metropolis before the upcoming monsoon in June would have been practically improbable as the proposed work could not begin before mid-July if the KMC went by the rules.

They said that the KMC’s financial adviser wrote to the local government secretary requesting exemption in terms of Section-21 of the Sindh Public Procurement Act 2009 from the applicability of SPPRA Rules 2010 that provides that procedure of procurement.

The KMC does not have the requisite gear and machinery for de-silting the drains and the work would be outsourced by inviting bids from private contractors. KMC insiders said that there were about 200 articles of heavy gear and machinery such as trucks, dumpers, loaders, etc, in the corporation which it had used in 2009 and 2010. They said only 40 vehicles were in running condition, while the rest of them were ruined and rusted.

The KMC has identified 26 storm-water drains as in very poor condition, needing de-silting before the wet weather.

Choking points in drains

Meanwhile, Mayor Wasim Akhtar while presiding over a meeting on storm-water drains directed officers concerned to complete the cleaning and removal of choking points in the city drains so that these drains could be saved from overflowing during coming monsoon season.

He said such an effective strategy should be adopted for cleaning of drains that could stop dumping of garbage and other waste in drains and improve water flow.

The meeting was attended by director general of works Shahab Anwer, senior director coordination Masood Alam, chief engineer of KDA Ramchand, chief engineers of different zones and executive engineer of city drains.

The mayor was given a detailed briefing regarding cleaning of Gujjar Nullah and Mehmoodabad Nullah and other development plan for these drains.

He said: “We need to complete the cleaning work of drains on priority basis because rainy season starts in June and we have to complete all preparations in the first week of May.

He said the clear space around the drains should now be used in an effective way so that no one could re-establish encroachments there.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2018