KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has asked the local government ministry to expedite the process for procurement of snorkels, fire tenders and tractor trolleys for local councils across the province.
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting here on Saturday. The meeting was attended by the ministers for local government and excise and taxation, Nasir Shah and Mukesh Chawla, principal secretary to CM Sajid Abro, the secretaries for local government and finance, Roshan Shaikh and Hassan Naqvi, director general of the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) Raheem Shaikh and consultant Niaz Soomro.
Officials said the provincial government had decided to provide snorkels to the local councils in all the divisional headquarters, and tractors trolleys, fire tenders, refuse vans, and garbage compactors to every municipal and town committee across the province.
They said there was a proposal to purchase 15 snorkels, 89 fire tenders and a large number of refuse vehicles, compactors and other equipment, vital for firefighting, at a cost of around Rs4 billion.
Plan to develop geo-information system for the regions with forests across Sindh
Some Rs1.5bn has been allocated in the current year, 2019-20, to spend on the project aimed at saving people’s lives.
The meeting was told that snorkels would be provided to the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Qasimabad Municipal Committee and large municipalities in the cities of Nawabshah, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana.
Those divisional headquarters, except for Qasimabad, have no snorkel to extinguish fires in high-rises.
Out of 89 fire tenders, 15 would be provided to Karachi, 10 to Hyderabad, eight to Larkana, six to Benazirabad, four to Qasimabad and certain others towns.
Similarly, tractor trolleys, refuse vehicles and compactors would be provided to the town and municipal committees.
The chief minister asked the LG minister to revise the list of municipal and town committees and rearrange them in order to ensure the biggest such municipalities, in terms of population and works, could be provided firefighting equipment on a priority basis in the first phase. The remaining local councils would get the same equipment in the second phase.
CM Shah also asked local government officials to issue strict directions to all local bodies operating across the province, including the rural regions, to ensure that proper cleanliness of streets and roads could be made and their sanitation system could be better maintained.
The meeting decided to invite international tenders with the objective to give an opportunity to foreign companies to compete as well.
LG Minister Nasir Shah, who also holds the portfolio of forest and wildlife, told the chief minister that he had worked out a plan to develop the geo-information system (GIS) for the regions that hosted forestry across Sindh.
The chief minister said the Board of Revenue’s automation unit had the technology and asked the minister to get that facility involved in introducing GIS in all forests in the province.
The CM said the provincial government would be able to watch activities in forests with the help of the GIS. Besides, those who had been given forest land could also be monitored to know whether they were complying with the preconditions they had accepted while being allotted those lands.
He said time had arrived to take maximum benefit from the latest technology — from protecting forests to making the taxation system efficient.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2020