KARACHI: The Pak Sarzameen Party on Wednesday filed a petition in the Sindh High Court for implementation of a Supreme Court judgement handed down last month on empowerment of local government in Sindh.

The PSP through its vice chairman Arshad Vohra petitioned the SHC and impleaded the provincial and election authorities as respondents.

The petitioner contended that instead of devolving the political, administrative and financial matters to elected local authorities, the Sindh government had absorbed all functions of the local government of Sindh, which have been given under Article 140-A of the Constitution.

He further asserted that the functions of the local government were building control & town planning, water supply, sewerage and waste disposal, local/public transport and civil facilities like parks, playground, libraries, mosques, graveyards, parking facilities, etc, and under Article 140-A, the provincial government was obliged to establish a LG system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibilities and authority to elected representatives of local government.

In its Feb 2 judgement, the petitioner argued that the apex court had emphasised on Article 140-A of the Constitution to set up local government possessing meaningful authority.

He further submitted that as per apex court order, the laws made by the provincial government, including Sindh Building Control Ordinance 1979, KDA Order 1957, Malir Development Authority Act, 1993, Lyari Development Authority Act, 1993, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Act, 1996, Hyderabad Development Authority Act, 1976, Shewan Development Authority, Act, 1993, Larkana Development Authority Act, 1994, Sindh Mass Transit Authority Act, 2014, the Sindh Food Authority Act, 2016, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency Act, 2014 and any dispensation pertaining to the board of revenue or the master plan department or any other development authority in the province of Sindh and purporting to override and conflicting action taken by an elected local government were held to be against the scheme of the Constitution and the provincial government was directed to bring all those laws in accord with the mandate of Article 140-A.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2022

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