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KARACHI: The ruling Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan in the City Council suffered a major blow on Thursday when Mayor Wasim Akhtar had to refer a resolution on award of charged parking contract to the charged parking committee after the opposition questioned the transparency of the procedure of awarding the contract.

The City Council could not approve the resolution tabled by a ruling party member as opposition council member Sahib Khan Jaskani, who is also parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party in the council, raised several objections on the award of contract of charged parking at 24 places in the city against the sum of Rs44,260,000.

He said the contract was awarded at a meagre rate.

Following the objections, the mayor referred the resolution to the charged parking committee and directed it to address the opposition’s objection within one month.

Presiding over the council meeting, the mayor said pressure would be applied on the organisations and persons concerned if Supreme Court’s directive regarding shifting of oil tankers to Zulfikarabad Oil Tankers Parking Terminal was not implemented by the last date of compliance, which is coming Monday.

“All required facilities have been provided at the terminal and it was inaugurated on July 27, 2017. However the then government did not [make] sure that the orders of the Supreme Court are implemented,” he added.

Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman also attended the session during which six resolutions were approved unanimously.

Mr Akhtar said he raised the issue of equal prices of petroleum products in Karachi and Peshawar during the hearing of the case regarding Ogra in the Supreme Court.

He said all over the world such prices did not include transportation charges for the cities from where the shipment is made, therefore, Karachi should be exempted from transportation charges in the prices of petroleum products sold here.

“The Supreme Court agreed with this and we hope that some better decision would come soon in this regard,” he added.

The council expressed grief and sorrow on the death of renowned satirist and humorist Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi who passed away in Karachi on Wednesday and offered fateha for the departed souls of Mr Yousufi and former city councillor Muzaffar Ahmed Hashmi.

Other resolutions which were passed by the council unanimously included approval of the MoUs signed by the KMC for maintenance of historical Frere Hall and Nehr-i-Khayyam Project in Clifton through setting up of a guardian board.

The mayor said all those matters had been made transparent and were in the larger interest of the city and its citizens.

The council also appreciated the efforts of the mayor for making the Zulfikarabad terminal project functional.

The council also appreciated the decision of the chief justice of Pakistan in this regard.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2018