KARACHI: To make the ongoing cleanliness drive sustainable, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday asked the local government department to seek proposals from district municipal corporations (DMCs) for door-to-door garbage collection through local contractors so that the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) could be assigned to collect the refuse from dustbins before its formal disposal.
Mr Shah issued the directives while presiding over a meeting to review progress of the month-long garbage lifting drive and make it sustainable to keep the city clean.
Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, CM’s Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani and other relevant officials attended the meeting.
The chief minister said the actual issue was door-to-door collection of garbage and throwing it into dustbins. He added DMCs were responsible for cleanliness work and door-to-door collection of garbage be assigned to DMCs with the directive to outsource it [front-end garbage lifting] and monitor the contractors’ efficiency.
He asked the LG secretary and commissioner to sit with the chairmen of DMCs along with deputy commissioners concerned to discuss the proposal and submit recommendations to him.
Deputy commissioners claim to have lifted around 80pc to 90pc of city’s garbage backlog
“Elsewhere in the world, garbage is not lifted door-to-door but people go to dump their garbage bags into dustbins placed at the corners of their streets or into the vehicles which visit the areas once or twice a week,” he said.
He added that the people did not demonstrate similar attitude of responsible citizens in the country and generally threw the trash outside their homes.
Recruitment of sanitary workers allowed
DMCs’ chairmen told the chief minister that most of their refuse vans and related machinery were out of order and they should be repaired for front-end collection.
Mr Shah directed the finance secretary to arrange funds required and release them forthwith. He asked the LG secretary to prepare and send a summary for repairing of the vehicles of the DMCs and District Council Karachi in three days.
DMCs’ officials said most of their funds were being deducted at source to pay their electricity bills, thus they were facing serious problems.
The chief minister asked secretaries of finance, energy and LG to hold a meeting with K-Electric and reconcile those electricity bills so that their genuine metre-reading could be made.
“Installation of meters is very important because average reading has no basis of consumption,” he said.
On the request of the DMCs, Mr Shah allowed them to appoint sweeping staff on a daily wage basis. “I know DMCs are facing shortage of sweeping staff, therefore recruitment of sanitary workers be made on daily wages basis or through contractors.”
The meeting was informed that a slaughterhouse spreading over 50 acres was lying redundant in Malir.
The chief minister said it meant slaughtering of animals across the city was taking place illegally.
He asked the LG secretary to discuss it with Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and make the slaughterhouse functional and operate it on a professional basis.
Repair of dilapidated roads, streets ordered
The meeting was informed that certain streets constructed recently had been dug out again for laying of utility cables, etc.
“I have noticed that a portion of newly constructed University Road has been dug out and has not been repaired after laying of utility cables. I will take strict action against officers concerned who have failed to get the street reconstructed,” he said, adding that he would take with him Mayor Akhtar on Sunday (today) to visit the University Road.
“If found unrepaired I would take action [against those responsible] then and there,” said Mr Shah.
The chief minister was told that all six districts had lifted 283,319 tonnes of garbage from Sept 21 to Oct 11. The drive would continue till Oct 21 and then the cleanliness work had to be sustainable.
In a report, the deputy commissioners said around 80 to 90 per cent of backlog of the garbage in the city had been lifted and the remaining backlog would be cleared by Oct 21.
The chief minister said he had received a number of complaints about overflowing gutters at Malir-15 Bridge causing wide craters on the road.
The KWSB chief said that the Karachi Development Authority was busy working there and with completion of their work old lines of gutters would be replaced with new ones before reconstruction of the road. He said all that would be done within two weeks.
Mr Shah issued directive to the deputy commissioners to plant neem trees in the areas from where garbage was being cleared.
Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019