KARACHI: Caretaker Chief Minister retired Justice Maqbool Baqar said on Tuesday that he was taking all-out measures to strengthen the local government system across the province.

He said this while talking to a Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) delegation, led by its city chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, which called on him at the CM House. The delegation discussed the issues of local government, water board and illegal construction in the city.

Hafiz Naeem pointed out that the transition period of newly elected local bodies had come to an end officially but even then, the elected bodies had not been given powers to function in public interest.

The chief minister said that he was taking necessary measures to strengthen local bodies all over the province. “We are strengthening them so that they are able to work in public interest,” he said.

The JI leader complained against the KE and said that neither they had controlled power theft nor had they made investments to improve the generation and distribution system. The CM said that he had held a meeting with the KE authorities a day earlier and told them to improve their system.

The JI delegation also took up the issue of illegal constructions in the city. The CM told them that illegal construction would not be allowed in the city. “I have given instructions to the SBCA (Sindh Building Control Authority) and the district administration to keep an eye on it and take action against illegal constructions,” he said.

Discussing the issue of water theft in the city, the CM said that he had told the water board to improve its system and ensure proper supply of water to citizens. He added that under a World Bank-funded project, the water board was being overhauled.

The caretaker CM said that once the local bodies’ representatives took over properly and strengthened, they would be able to look after the people of their areas in terms of cleanliness, garbage lifting and improvement in the water and sanitation systems.

Justice Baqar told the JI delegation that he had activated the 919 Complaint Cell at the CM House and it would be receiving public complaints, which he would resolve personally. The cell has two phone numbers: 99207568 and 99207349 to register complaints.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2023

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