KARACHI: As many as 555 nullahs, including 41 of KMC and 514 of DMCs, are being cleaned for which the provincial government has contributed Rs950 million while the KMC and DMCs will pay Rs90m from their resources.
Provincial Minister for Information & Local Government Syed Nasir Shah said on Saturday that the PTI and GDA leaders elected from Sindh could not dare talk against the opening of Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal illegally by Punjab to ‘steal’ water share of Sindh.
In a statement issued here, Mr Shah said that the leader of opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh and Federal Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza of the GDA, elected from Sindh, were trying to save face by saying that there was water shortage in the entire system, and therefore, Sindh was facing a shortage.
‘555 Karachi drains are being cleaned’
“I want to tell them that the high-handedness being made by Punjab with connivance of Irsa (Indus River System Authority) is an open secret,” he claimed and added why the PTI and GDA leaders were not raising their voice against opening of CJ Canal by Punjab in violation of the 1991 water accord.
He added that standing crops of Kharif were withering in Sindh, but Punjab was irrigating its lands through “stolen” water.
Irsa, being a regulatory body, has completely failed to fulfil its responsibilities, he said and urged Irsa to at least criticise the illegal opening of the CJ canal, if it had no power to close down the channel.
Responding to Haleem Adil Shaikh’s statement, the information minister said that Mr Shaikh should have briefed the prime minister about the land grabbers who had been wreaking havoc in Sindh, “but this might have exposed himself too”, he quipped.
He said “land grabbers” were practically enjoying protocols in Sindh.
The minister said that the provincial government had launched a clean-up operation against bandits in Shikarpur and would eliminate them very soon and then an operation would be launched against land grabbers and that might upset him (Mr Shaikh).
The minister said that Haleem Adil had admitted that the federal government had failed to achieve revenue recovery targets.
Cleaning of KMC nullahs
Mr Shah said that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had engaged seven contractors to clean its 41 storm-water drains.
He said the decision to engage the contractors directly was taken to mitigate urban floods by cleaning the drains before the start of monsoon.
He added that the local government department had already notified the operational/oversight committee to monitor cleaning activities of all 555 nullahs.
The committee will not only monitor cleaning activities, but will also ensure proper utilisation of funds, Mr Shah concluded.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2021