KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Sunday that he had conveyed his serious concerns to the inspector general of police regarding an alarming increase in incidence of street crimes in Karachi.
Talking to reporters during his nine-hour-long visit to the city to assess the pace of work on the month-long ‘Clean My Karachi’ campaign, he said that IGP Dr Kaleem Imam informed him that the downturn in economy had increased the street crimes in the city.
“The IGP has told me that factories have downsized their staff and daily wagers have lost their work, therefore they all have indulged in street crimes to meet the expenditures of their families,” the CM said. “I have urged him to pay more attention to his policing.”
Murad says he will be visiting all parts of the city during the last eight days of his govt’s cleanliness drive
When asked if he had differences with the IGP, the chief minister while brushing aside the impression of differences said that he was a good officer. “I have shown serious objections to the increasing street crime,” he said.
The chief minister was accompanied by Information Minister Saeed Ghani, his adviser Murtaza Wahab, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Local Government Secretary Roshan Shaikh, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board chief Asif Ikram and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board chief Asadullah Khan.
About the cleanliness drive, he said that from Sept 21 to date over 282,000 tonnes of backlog of garbage had been lifted. “In other words, 70 per cent backlog has been taken away and still 30pc is left which will be cleared by Oct 21,” he said.
He said that just after concluding his garbage lifting drive he would make it sustainable and then put his focus on the reconstruction of remaining roads of the city along with the sewerage system.
“Today, people told me that their hospitals, schools, dispensaries and roads are in poor condition but I told them I don’t want to shift my focus from garbage lifting... after conclusion of the campaign in just eight days, I will focus on reconstruction of the remaining roads,” he said.
The chief minister said that the purpose of the month-long drive was to clear the areas of garbage and hand them over to the district municipal corporations (DMCs) concerned for maintenance.
“I have held a meeting with Mayor Wasim Akhtar and also with chairmen of the DMCs so that everyone must get ownership to the drive,” he said. “The mayor, the DMCs and district council chairmen are onboard and right now DMC-Central chairman Rehan Hashmi is standing with me...This shows our commitment with each other and with the city and its people.”
The CM said that funds would be released to the DMCs on Tuesday (tomorrow) to keep their tractors, refuse vehicles and other machinery repaired and then start lifting garbage on a day-to-day basis.
The chief minister appreciated the performance of the KWSB and said that during his visit to different areas he did not witness any overflowing gutter.
To a question, the CM said that the Manghopir Road was in quite a critical condition and work on the Rs2.4 billion scheme for its rehabilitation was going on at a snail’s pace.
Mr Shah said that said that the work on the Green Line project being carried out by the Karachi Infrastructure Development Company Ltd was very slow.
He said that in Saddar, from where he had started his visit, he saw garbage on the road at Electronics Market although there were dustbins. The chief minister directed the SP-Saddar to ask shopkeepers to throw their trash into dustbins, otherwise action would be taken against them.
On Abdullah Haroon Road, he saw construction material and open cables of telephone and TV lying abandoned on the road. The chief minister issued directives to the commissioner to get it fixed or he would take strict action against the assistant commissioners concerned.
The chief minister also visited all roads of Korangi, drove to Cattle Colony, visited Jaffer Tayyar Society in Malir and met with party people gathered there.
He also went to District West and viited different sectors of Orangi, Banaras and issued necessary directives for not allowing the builders to put their construction material on roads. “If they do so the deputy commissioners must impose fines on them,” he said.
Mr Shah also visited district Central where Mr Hashmi, the chairman of the DMC-Central, received him.
The chief minister said that during the last eight days of his cleanliness campaign he would be visiting the city to clear the remaining backlog and hoped the people would cooperate with authorities.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2019