KARACHI: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Friday claimed to have cleaned three major nullahs of the city on the fifth day of its taking the assignment given by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A statement issued by the NDMA said that three major nullahs — Gujjar, Korangi and Mowach Goth drains — were cleaned through consistent operation conducted in collaboration with the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), which led the work to desilt the mega structures.
“On directives of the prime minister the cleaning operation of three major nullahs continued on Friday,” said the NDMA statement.
“Korangi Nullah operation has been completed successfully. Some 95 per cent of Gujjar and 90 per cent of Mowach Goth Nullahs have been cleaned. The operation of two would be completed tonight [Friday night].”
It said the operation cleared 40 choking points on 42 different spots of three nullahs while some 30,000 tonne of garbage were removed from the three key infrastructures.
4.37m cubic feet sludge removed from 54 nullahs, CM told
PPP performance criticised
However, the cleaning of the drains also gave an opportunity to the critics of the Pakistan Peoples Party for its performance over the past 12 years ruling Sindh.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf central vice president and leader of the parliamentary party in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh questioned the performance and ‘political will’ of the PPP government and said that the PPP had failed to do the job in 12 years which “the NDMA has done in five days”.
“The NDMA has given the task to the FWO for cleaning dirt and sludge from the three main rainwater drains, which has been almost 95pc completed in five days,” he said in a statement.
“The prime minister took notice of the flood situation in Karachi due to previous rains. The NDMA was given responsibilities on the instructions of the prime minister. Now the rainwater is flowing easily in Karachi. We are not claiming that everything is fine, but it has turned better to some extent. What was not being done in the past 12 years has been done in five days. It proves that the Sindh government has not been working for past 12 years.”
He said after the 18th Amendment, the responsibility for sanitation rested with the Sindh government.
The legal bindings, he said, prevented the federal government from taking any initiative.
“The Sindh government only needs funds for corruption, not for work. I appeal to the people of Karachi not to allow waste material and sewage to flow into these drains. These drains are only for rainwater, but unfortunately gutter water is flowing into these drains,” he added.
As much as 4.37 million cubic feet (cft) sludge has been removed from 54 nullahs, including 18 connecting drains so far, and 63,000 tonnes of offal was lifted during the three days of Eid and shifted to the dumping site.
This was stated in a meeting held here under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at CM House.
The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Shah, advisor Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Commissioner of Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani and others.
Solid Waste Emergency & Efficiency Project (SWEEP) project director Zubair Channa told the chief minister that up to August 6, 4.47m cft sludge had been removed from 36 big nullahs of KMC and 18 nullahs of DMCs.
The overall sludge lifted and dumped at landfill sites comes to 4.37m cubic feet.
Commissioner of Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani in his initial report told the chief minister that due to pre-emptive measures rainwater did not cross the M-9 motorway, therefore Saadi Town and the grid station remained safe.
There were some choking points such at Safoora, Safari Park, Nagan Chowrangi, KDA Chowrangi where dewatering machines were installed to clear the areas.
Malir Lath Dam did not overflow, therefore nearby areas remained safe.
The dewatering of Muslim Gymkhana and Wazir Mansion areas were done through dewatering machines. Hub River Road was chocked this (Friday) evening which was cleared by 7pm.
Surjani Town and Yousuf Goth were cleared through dewatering machines.
6,300 tonnes of offal lifted
MD SSWMB Kashif Gulzar Shaikh told the chief minister that originally they had West, Malir, South and East to lift offal, but on the directives of the chief minister they also lifted offal from the areas of Central, West and Korangi.
The chief minister was told that overall 2.4 million cattle, including 1.2 million smaller animals such as goats and sheep were slaughtered on Eid, therefore 6,300 tonnes of offal were lifted and buried at designated areas.
At this Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that this time the minister of local government had involved elected representatives of local bodies which ensured efficient and proper lifting of the offal.
“This is why people appreciated the government in clearing offal and rainwater in the city,” the mayor said.
The chief minister appreciated local government minister, SSWMB, mayor, DMCs and elected representatives in making the city clean from the filth of sacrificial animals well in time.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020