KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday urged newly-elected chairmen and vice chairmen of district councils, town municipal committees and town committees of four districts of Hyderabad division to develop the parks, playgrounds, water supply and sanitation schemes his government had built and own them in the larger interest of people of their areas.

“The main issues of our towns and villages are flawed or nonfunctional sewerage systems and gutters or uncovered drains flowing onto the streets,” he said at a meeting attended by Sindh Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, MPA Aijaz Shah, chairmen and vice chairmen of district councils, town municipal committees and town committees of Tando Mohammad Khan, Jamshoro, Dadu and Badin.

He said that his government had constructed sewerage systems in almost all small towns and villages but they faced lack of ownership. “You (chairmen) will have to look after and own the schemes in the larger interest of people,” he said.

Shah said that he was meeting with all newly-elected representatives of local bodies so as to listen to their problems and redress public grievances. “Our main objective is to serve the province and make a difference,” he said.

He said that during his tenure as chief minister he had developed water supply and sanitation schemes in every town and village. “We have developed towns, and parks, constructed village-to-market roads, and the roads to connect villages with main roads,” he said.

He said that some of the small roads had become dilapidated due to heavy rains and floods while some of the sewerage schemes had failed to function efficiently because of lack of ownership.

The CM said: “Now, you have to take over and provide ownership not only to the schemes but each and every brick and equipment installed in your areas as these schemes are public property, and you are their custodians.”

He urged the chairmen to remove encroachment from their areas, beautify their towns, develop playgrounds, promote cultural and sports activities and ensure the LG employees worked diligently and honestly.

On the request of chairmen, the chief minister directed the LG minister to provide refuse vehicles to every town committee and fire tender facilities in every taluka headquarters.

The minister said that the budget of all the towns and district councils had been raised by 50 per cent. The local government department would strengthen the local bodies by injecting funds in them and providing them necessary equipment, he said.

The chief minister had already directed the officers concerned to extend the operations of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board to all the districts, he said, adding likewise, the scope of Rescue 1122 would also be extended to all the districts, talukas, and villages shortly.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2023

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