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KARACHI: City Mayor Wasim Akhtar said on Wednesday that the cleaning of storm-water drains had become a futile annual exercise as it was always done without properly managing the disposal of garbage.

“The drains across the city remain choked as over 60 per cent garbage is dumped in sewers and drains,” he said and stressed the need for streamlining the solid waste and sewerage management.

The mayor was speaking at a press conference held in the KMC head office to share with the media updates on cleaning of storm-water drains and measures for dewatering of rainwater in city underpasses and other locations.

Municipal Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman and other senior officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation were also present.

“Drain cleaning has been done several times in the past, but without streamlining the disposal of garbage and sewerage. This time we want to do this work once and for all so that we do not have to repeat this process every year,” he said.

Mr Akhtar said that plastic bags were creating hurdles in cleaning of drains and damaging ecosystem. “We have raised this issue in court and the court has approved this and called Sepa in this connection,” he added.

The mayor said that emergency had been declared in KMC regarding cleaning of storm-water drains and civil works involved in this connection.

“The municipal services department has been made centre point which will act round-the-clock with the coordination of all district municipal corporations, cantonment boards and DHA,” he said.

Rs500m received from provincial govt

The mayor said funds to the tune of Rs500 million had been received from the provincial government for these works and they would be utilised in an effective and transparent manner. He said that open bids for civil work and drains’ cleaning were invited.

The mayor said encroachments on drains would also be removed along with desilting and repair and maintenance works.

He said that the Supreme Court and its mandated judicial commission had directed the KMC to clean its 38 storm-water drains in 30 days.

“Therefore we have taken on board all utility service providers including the water board and the solid waste management [board] to carry out this work in a comprehensive way,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2018