KARACHI: Under the World Bank Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency Projects (SWEEP), a pre-drone survey has been conducted of all the 38 nullahs (storm-water drains) of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) while an environmental and socio-economic management survey is being conducted across the nullahs and dump sites as per the WB requirement.
This was stated at a meeting held here with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in the chair. The meeting was attended by Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Local Government Secretary Roshan Shaikh, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, PD Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) Zubair Channa and others.
The chief minister said that under rain emergency arrangements, he had released Rs229 million and placed the funds at the disposal of all divisional commissioners. “I have issued directives through the chief secretary to all the DCs and MCs to clean the nullahs and make necessary arrangements for disposal of rainwater,” he added.
He said the commissioner of Karachi had requested for additional funds of Rs30m, which had also been released.
The local government minister said that rain emergency cells had been established at the LG department, commissioner’s office, DC offices and at all municipal committee offices and 1,093 complaint centres had also been set up.
Rs229 million placed at the disposal of divisional commissioners to clean the nullahs
The chief minister said the WB had agreed to invest $100m in the improvement of solid waste system in Karachi.
The SWEEP project was conceived in November 2019. The project includes improvement of garbage transfer stations as per international standards, establishment of a modern landfill site at Dhabeji, upgrade of the Jam Chakro landfill site and emergency intervention to clean drains which served as the main sewage carriers of the city.
SWEEP has an allocation of $11m for the emergency component.
Solid waste collection/disposal system
Briefing the chief minister, Zubair Channa said the concept note of SWEEP was approved by the Planning Commission on June 8. He said that on recommendation of the WB and as a stopgap arrangement, CLICK was assigned the task of SWEEP.
At this, the chief minister said the Sindh government was investing $8m from its resources which would be reimbursed by the WB.
Mr Channa told the chief minister that the methodology adopted for payment to the contractors was quite transparent and foolproof. He added that the amount would be paid to contractors based on the quantum of sludge taken out from nullahs and disposed of or dumped.
Only 38 major nullahs under the KMC administration have been undertaken in SWEEP.
The project director told the chief minister that pre-drone surveys had been conducted of all the 38 nullahs of the KMC and the environmental and socio-economic management survey was being conducted across the nullahs and dump sites as per a World Bank requirement.
The chief minister was told that the excavation or cleaning of nullahs had been started in the city.
He was told that so far 295,824 tonnes of garbage/sludge had been taken from different nullahs located in different districts.
At present 33 excavators and 69 dumpers were engaged in different districts to remove sludge from nullahs
The chief minister was told that power outages by the K-Electric and Hesco were creating issues of closure of main pumping stations at disposal points.
At this the chief minister directed the energy department to talk to the KE and Hesco and direct them to exempt pumping stations from loadshedding.
The chief minister said the issue of cleaning and reconstruction of nullahs in Karachi were being made under SWEEP. “It would resolve the issue once [and] for all and then their maintenance would be done by the KMC,” he said.
Mr Shah said that more than 50 per cent of solid waste dumped in open nullahs was one issue and illegal allotment and encroachments along nullahs was another.
He directed the chief secretary to resolve both issues.
Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2020