KARACHI: The tall claims of the ruling party and key members of the Sindh cabinet about the state of cleanliness in Karachi suffered a major blow on Monday when the Sindh chief secretary issued directives to cancel the contract of a Chinese company responsible for lifting of garbage in one of Karachi’s six districts for its “poor performance”.
The decision came at a meeting presided over by Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah held to review the performance of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB).
The chief secretary also linked all future funding or payment to Chinese companies with a certificate of deputy commissioners concerned.
“The chief secretary has expressed his displeasure over performance of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board and directed its managing director to cancel the contract of the Chinese company working in district East due to poor performance,” said a statement issued after the meeting. “The chief secretary also assigned the deputy commissioners to monitor the performance of Chinese companies and stated that these companies would be provided funds after certification of deputy commissioners concerned.”
The chief secretary, it said, also directed the SSWMB to increase the number of dustbins in Karachi.
Directives have been issued to place additional 4,000 dustbins across the city within three days
It was suggested that at least 4,000 dustbins should be placed on various locations of the city within three days.
Mr Shah said that it was high time to make coordinated efforts for cleanliness in the city together with members of civil society, schoolchildren and scouts amid the “Blue Jacket” campaign launched by the provincial government for Karachi, the statement added.
Briefing the meeting, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani said multiple events including monsoon rains, Eidul Azha and Independence Day celebrations made the cleanliness drive a challenge.
“But despite all hurdles and tough circumstances, the government mobilised all available machinery and manpower. The ongoing effort will end only after the target is achieved,” he said, according to the statement.
Medium-level flood in Indus
The chief secretary presided over another meeting regarding a flood-like situation emerging after India released water into the Sutlej and Indus rivers without any prior information.
The statement said that the meeting discussed in detail about steps being taken for relief work and precautionary measures.
“Sindh Irrigation Secretary Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo informed the meeting that 400,000 to 500,000 cusecs water is expected in Sindh and it will be a medium-level flood in Indus River,” said the statement. “The chief secretary has directed all commissioners to monitor weak points of embankments in different areas of the Indus.”
He also directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and district authorities to make sure safe evacuation of the people from the katcha area if needed and all available resources be utilised to facilitate the people.
The PDMAs of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa issued flood alerts after India released water into River Sutlej and Alchi Dam.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department also issued a flood/weather advisory.
According to the department, “Very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall has been observed over the upper and lower catchments of Rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi during the last 72 hours.”
The chief secretary, the statement said, had also stated that the matter pertaining to the OGDCL bund of Ghotki would be taken up with the federal government.
The meeting was attended by senior member Board of Revenue, secretaries of irrigation and rehabilitation and Karachi commissioner. Other divisional commissioners attended the meeting via a video link.
Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2019