KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was on Monday informed that the much-hyped ‘Clean Karachi’ campaign spearheaded by Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi was the key reason to be blamed for spread of swarms of flies in the city as some 48,000 tonnes of garbage was thrown inside the city instead of transporting it to designated landfills.

“During that campaign,” said Information Minister Saeed Ghani while furnishing a policy statement before the house, “48,000 tonnes of garbage, as confirmed by Minister Ali Zaidi himself, was thrown on the streets, grounds, parks and neighbourhoods in the city”.

The minister referred to a recent meeting in which Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s lawmakers also showed up, where “everyone expressed displeasure over what is happening in the name of Clean Karachi campaign”.

He said during that ‘ill-conceived’ campaign, around 48,000 tonnes of garbage was hauled out of nullahs in the city, but instead of transporting such a huge quantity of trash, it was haphazardly thrown in the city.

Minister Ghani said the Karachi mayor had informed the provincial government that the municipal authorities had started a fumigation campaign in various districts of the metropolis.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had sprayed vector control substances in Malir district initially, while schedule for other five districts had also been chalked out and handed to the provincial authorities, he said.

A project to set up medical college in Landhi has been shelved and the building will house a paramedics’ institute after completion

Mr Ghani said the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board had dumped 12,500 tonnes of garbage a day earlier. “We have asked them to enhance their capacity further keeping in view the present unhygienic conditions in Karachi.”

He said “mismanagement” on the part of the organisers of the Clean Karachi campaign was to blame for such filthy conditions in the provincial capital.

He added that the chairmen of the district municipal corporations, which were controlled by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, themselves praised how “greatly” the issue of garbage was improved with the help of the Sindh government. “Even then, we assure the people of Karachi that the situation would improve in a few days.”

Services dept wants vaccinators’ certificates

Earlier, responding to a calling-attention notice given by Grand Democratic Alliance’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, Health Minister Azra Pechuho said it was services and general administration department which was demanding certificates for 1,733 candidates who otherwise had passed the NTS test for the post of vaccinator.

Ms Abbasi said earlier 500 candidates for the same post had been passed and recruited from Karachi with minimum 50 per cent marks’ requirement. However, the same authorities were demanding at least 60pc marks with candidates having mandatory certificates.

She asked why the relevant authorities were showing double standards while recruiting candidates from Karachi and other districts of Sindh.

Dr Pechuho conceded that it was double standard on the part of the S&GAD, which had not demanded mandatory certificate and more than 50pc marks in tests taken earlier for candidates in Karachi.

She said there was no institution in the province offering certificates for vaccination and normally it was the health department which would train the newly recruited vaccinators. “But now, despite repeated correspondence, the S&GAD has disagreed to waive the mandatory certificate for successful candidates. The situation would remain same until we change our rules.”

Plan to build medical college in Landhi shelved

In another calling-attention notice, MQM-P’s Hashim Raza expressed reservation over change of status of a proposed medical college in Landhi to a mere paramedical institution.

The health minister replied that the proposed medical college in Korangi district was turned into a facility to offer holistic training to the support staff relating to various fields in medical sector.

She said it was decided because of shortage of the staff required for a medical college to get it successfully recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

She said there was grave dearth of people required for successfully running a medical college and the health department had faced similar issues in establishing Khairpur Medical College.

She said some Rs710 million, out of total cost of Rs1.141bn, on now cancelled medical college project had been spent. However, allocation for that scheme during the current financial year was nominal since it had been revised.

The minister said an institution for producing quality paramedics was extremely important, as the health facilities in the province had been facing shortage of paramedics for decades. “We experience acute shortage of nurses and in my view paramedical institutions should be given greater importance.”

Police accused of involvement in murders

PTI’s parliamentary party leader Haleem Adil Sheikh raised the issue of the murder of a teenaged waiter, Sanaullah, by armed robbers.

He spelled out a number of other people who had been murdered in the limits of police’s East zone, claiming that police were either directly or indirectly involved in those murders.

He demanded a discreet inquiry into all such incidents.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Chawla said an FIR was duly registered into the incident in which Sanaullah was shot dead. Besides, the provincial government had directed the inspector general of police to get those involved in the murder nabbed as soon as possible.

Later, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani ruled an adjournment motion tabled by PTI’s Khurrum Sher Zaman non-maintainable and out of order as the issue was one decade old with no urgency involved.

The PTI lawmaker’s adjournment motion was regarding sale of Dadu Sugar Mills by the Sindh government “at a huge discount to its intrinsic value”.

He said the sugar mill was dished out to the Omni Group because of its relations with the leaders of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

Information Minister Saeed Ghani said why the same lawmaker did not refer to the sale of Naudero Sugar Mill to the same group years before the sale of Dadu Sugar Mill during the regime of retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Besides, he added, the process of Dadu Sugar Mill’s sale was started much before the PPP’s first government in 2008 and was duly completed during the PPP’s Sindh government with due approval by the Sindh High Court.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2019

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