KARACHI: Alleging that the Sindh government was planning to ‘snatch’ remaining departments and functions of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), former Karachi mayor and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Waseem Akhtar on Friday asked city Administrator Murtaza Wahab to provide basic necessities to the people instead of wasting money in cosmetic projects like food streets.
The MQM-P leader was critical of a Sindh government plan to collect municipal taxes via monthly bills of the K-Electric as he asked Administrator Wahab not to support the controversial decision and instead convince the chief minister and his party leadership to give back the functions and departments of the KMC that they had already ‘snatched’.
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Mr Akhtar said the tenure of his mayorship expired more than a year ago and since then three administrators had been appointed to run the civic affairs of the metropolis.
“One month has passed to the appointment of the new administrator [Wahab] but no sign of improvement could be seen anywhere,” he said.
‘Sindh govt planning to snatch all KMC functions, departments’
Accompanied by former deputy mayor Arshad Hasan and others, he said that major roads like Tariq Road, University Road, which had been built recently, were now in a dilapidated condition, but instead of doing repair work Administrator Wahab was planning to make a food street in the Boat Basin area.
Mr Akhtar said that the Sindh government was going to “plunder” all assets of Karachi as it had “occupied” KMC hospitals and now it was taking over the graveyards in the metropolis.
“The Sindh government should tell what success it got after taking over projects like Malir Development Authority, Sindh Building Control Authority, solid waste management, etc,” he asked.
He asked the Sindh government who would improve governance in Larkana, Sehwan, Shaheed Benazirabad, etc, if officials from interior of Sindh were “imposed” on Karachi by removing officers of the KMC from their posts.
He said that the Sindh government was getting enough funds in the head of the National Finance Commission Award but the chief minister distributed the money among his cronies instead of spending a respectable amount on Karachi.
The MQM leader said that under the law the Sindh government had to provide to the KMC part of whatever taxes it collected from Karachi, but in the last 13 years it had failed to do so. “Now it is planning to disconnect electricity of citizens of Karachi in the name of collecting conservancy tax,” he said.
He appealed to people of Karachi to be united and raise their voice for their rights irrespective of their ethnic background; otherwise the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government would turn Karachi into Moenjodaro.
KE loadshedding condemned
Meanwhile, the MQM-P strongly condemned the unannounced loadshedding being carried out by K-Electric in parts of Karachi during the current hot and humid weather.
It said the KE had been earning billions of rupees in the head of overbilling but it had failed to improve its transmission and distribution system.
It urged the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and the federal government to take notice of “incompetence” of the KE to provide relief to the people.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2021