KARACHI: The City Council on Tuesday unanimously asked the Sindh government to provide Rs2.5 million each every month to all union committees (UCs) so that elected representatives could execute municipal uplift work in their respective areas.
Members of the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to this effect during its meeting held in the Council Hall of KMC head office with Mayor Wasim Akhtar in the chair.
Deputy Mayor Syed Arshad Hasan and Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman also attended the session.
Karachi Zoo to be separated from parks and recreation dept to make it an independent entity
At the outset, the situation became tense when a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Syed Mairaj Uddin, hurled provocative comments at Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Enraged members belonging to the PPP started chanting slogans against PTI and Prime Minister Imran Khan and aggressively moved towards the seat of the PTI member. However, the mayor and other council members intervened to restore order in the house. Later, calm prevailed after the PTI member took back his comments against the PPP minister.
11 resolutions adopted
During the session, the council gave approval to 11 different resolutions on different issues, including regularisation of services of 722 contractual employees; establishment of the zoo department; curtailment in KMC officers’ privileges; change of name of senior director of municipal services to director general municipal services; reducing the number of KMC departments from 45 to 14; establishment of metropolitan commissioner secretariat and a central record registry (CRR) department as part of the administration department.
In a unanimously passed resolution, the council demanded that the provincial government provide Rs2.5m funds monthly to each UC in the city.
The council also approved the establishment of a committee comprising parliamentary party leaders in the council under the chairmanship of Deputy Mayor Hasan to submit suggestions for improvement in the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013.
According to the resolutions passed in the meeting, the contractual employees who now became permanent would be paid their salary from Jan 1, 2019.
Zoo made separate department
The council also approved a decision to make the Karachi Zoological Gardens a separate department in the KMC.
It was also resolved that a grade-19 officer would head the newly created department, separated from the KMC’s parks, recreation, wildlife and environment department.
Addressing the council members, the mayor said that today’s meeting made historic decisions, which would prove to be beneficial for the city’s municipal administration and the next leadership would have ease in performing its functions.
He said like whole country, the KMC was also facing a financial crunch and added that several changes had been made on administrative level to save resources and bring improvement in the overall performance of the municipal administration.
Mayor Akhtar said that measures, including curtailment in fuel expenditures and closure of newspapers and telephone facilities at officers’ residences, would save millions of rupees.
He said that only competent and experienced officers were inducted in the present set-up and if the opposition thought anyone to be competent enough then they should identify such officials. “We will post them without delay,” he assured the opposition.
Opposition leader Karamullah Waqasi praised these measures and assured full support from the opposition in the council.
Expressing his views on the resolution about raise in funds of the UCs, the mayor said that the fault in the system created such a situation where the council members felt handicapped and were having trouble in solving the citizens’ problems.
He said that the provincial government could take measures to correct the system.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019