KARACHI: Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday said that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmakers were not provided funds for uplift works, nor were the local bodies’ representatives given special financial assistance to tackle coronavirus.

Talking to media after inaugurating fumigation campaign in district Korangi, he said that local bodies could be empowered only if the federal and provincial governments wanted to do so.

The mayor, who is also a deputy convener of the party, said that the MQM-P endorsed policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government adding that “Allies of the government are issued funds but the MQM-P was not given funds for uplift works in Karachi.”

At least 50 staffers equipped with modern machines took part in the fumigation and used latest machines for spraying in narrow streets. District Korangi Chairman Nayyar Raza, vice chairman Ahmer Ali, MQM-P coordination committee member Abu Bakar and officials of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation were also present.

The mayor urged the federal government to utilise elected local government representatives in resolving public issues and that their work would be seen on the ground. “Local bodies’ representatives should be empowered as they are the ones who are aware of local issues,” he added.

He said that the DMC Korangi arranged fumigation drive from its own resources and narrow streets would also be covered during the campaign. Terming the cleanliness issue a serious matter, he said that DMCs did not have resources even to lift garbage.

Mr Akhtar said that the KMC lacked required machinery to cater to the needs of the city, saying the provincial government didn’t support the local government despite their repeated appeals. “We have provided precautionary kits to doctors and other paramedical staff on our own”, he added.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2020