Deputy Mayor Arshad Hasan presides over Thursday’s council session.—PPI
Deputy Mayor Arshad Hasan presides over Thursday’s council session.—PPI

KARACHI: The Council of the Karachi Metropolitan Corp­ora­tion on Thursday, through a resolution, demanded immediate release of Rs162 billion funds of the Karachi Package announced in a meeting of the Karachi Transformation Committee.

The general body meeting of the council held in the Council Hall of KMC Building also passed other resolutions amid strong protest by the opposition. The opposition members wanted to discuss the city’s problems before the approval of the 18-point agenda of the session.

Deputy Mayor Arshad Hasan presided over the meeting. Metropolitan Commissioner and Secretary of the Council Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman also attended the meeting.

The session descended into chaos when chairman of Union Council No 8, Lyari, Abdul Hameed, rose and invited the attention of the chair to the problems in his area. He said the roads and lanes in the vicinity were in a poor condition.

He deplored that not a single rupee was allocated for his UC in the budget book of the city’s municipal administration.

Opposition councillors protest, claim no funds released for their areas

He said that no development works were carried out in the constituency due to the absence of funds. “This situation is highly deplorable and critical as we are answerable to our voters,” he said.

The deputy speaker asked him to take his seat, advising him to meet him in his chamber to discuss the issues of his area.

However, the UC chairman said he would lie down on the floor of the house if he was not allowed to discuss the municipal problems being faced by the people of his constituency. The opposition members chanted slogans against the mayor as highly charged UC chairman Hameed approached the podium.

Amid uproar, the chair continued the business and the council approved all resolutions one after another with the deputy mayor smiling in the chair.

The women opposition members also joined their colleagues, tearing up copies of the agenda.

Demand for release of Rs162bn

The council through a resolution demanded the release of Rs162bn funds with the package for the current year so the city’s condition could improve.

Through another resolution the council members gave approval for the upgrade of the school of nursing in the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital to a college of nursing and the SNE (sanctioned new expenditure) for the appointment of teaching staff and other necessities according to the Pakistan Nursing Council.

The council also passed a resolution with a majority of votes on the appreciation of the 16-member KMC Urban Search and Rescue team which performed well in rescue and search operation after the collapse of a residential building in Sukkur.

Other resolutions which were passed by the council included the maintenance of graveyards, right of collection of licence fee from chicken meat shops, repairing of fire tenders, amendment to the rate of fee for raw skin in the KMC slaughterhouse, providing of janitorial service in the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, naming of a bridge near Rashid Minhas Road after Major Adeel Shahid Shaheed, gate entry fee of Zulfikarabad Oil Tankers parking terminal, entry of residential apartments in the KMC jurisdiction in the record of rights, scrutiny fee for plots under a building plan, increase in lease rates, upgrade of different KMC posts, registration of graveyards and handing over of city cemeteries to the chairmen of the area with the construction of a boundary wall of Mauripur Truck Stand and parking rights.

Fateha offered

The house also offered fateha on the demise of former federal minister Syed Safwanullah, former chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, poet Arif Shafiq and for those who died in the recent snowfall and landslides in Azad Kashmir and other parts of the country and those killed in a vehicle fire incident in North Karachi.

The council also demanded better treatment for the injured and shifting of the affected to safe places.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020