KARACHI, April 25: In a retaliatory move aimed at asserting his control over the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and the Karachi Building Control Authority, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal on Friday used his powers under the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2001 and notified the KWSB and the KBCA as the water & sanitation and building control groups of offices.

He also directed the respective heads of the organizations to continue to perform their duties as executive district officers (EDOs) of the city government.

The move is being seen as an attempt by the nazim to block Thursday’s order of the Sindh government under which the minister for local government replaced him as head of the KWSB and the KBCA.

On Friday, the city government issued two notifications under which it maintained that the Sindh government through separate orders had already been created the water & sanitation and building control group of offices and “therefore, in pursuance of Section 195 and in exercise of the powers conferred under the SLGO-2001, the city government direct the EDOs of Building Control and Water and Sanitation group of offices to perform the functions conferred by or under SLGO-2001 and in performance of their respective function shall adhered to and follow such procedure as are enumerated in the Sixth Schedule”.

Under the city government’s notifications issued on Friday, KBCA chief controller Rauf Akhtar Farooqi and KWSB Managing Director Ghulam Arif would act as EDOs of the building control and water and sanitation group of offices, respectively.

Sources told Dawn that the issuance of the two notifications by the city government clearly showed that it considered Thursday’s order of the Sindh government regarding reconstitution of the KWSB and KBCA as illegal, at variance with the SLGO 2001 and tantamount to introduction of amendments to it despite the fact that the ordinance had constitutional protection.

They said that the Sindh government in pursuance of the relevant sections of the SLGO 2001 had issued two notifications on Dec 4, 2002 and April 30, 2004, declaring the KWSB and the KBCA as the 15th and the 16th group of offices in the Karachi city government under the titles of water and sanitation and building control group of offices and given their administrative control to the city nazim.

The sources said that the appointment of the provincial minister for local government as an authority of the KBCA by the Sindh government in exercise of powers conferred under Section 4 of the Sindh Building Control Ordinance 1979 was in conflict with Section 53, Schedule 6 of the SLGO 2001.

They said that the “suppression” of earlier notifications by the Sindh government regarding creation of water and sanitation and building control group of offices was not enough and the government had to amend the SLGO 2001 if it wanted to regain the control of the two bodies.

They said that under Section 182 (3) of the SLGO 2001, the development authorities, water and sanitation agencies and solid waste management bodies fell within the jurisdiction of the city government.

Section 182 (6) of the SLGO 2001 says “the district governments shall appropriately re-organize the authorities, agencies and bodies and decentralize such authorities, agencies and bodies to the Taluka Municipal Administration or, as the case may be, Town Municipal Administration in accordance with Section 52 which dealt with entrustment of certain decentralized offices to TMA.”

The water & sanitation and building control groups of offices were created during the tenure of then city nazim Niamatullah Khan when the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was part of the then provincial government. Later, the functions of the water board and KBCA had been devolved at the town level as currently 18 superintending engineers and 18 town building control officers of the two bodies were working in each town under the supervision of town nazims.

Neither City Nazim Mustafa Kamal nor Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani was available for comments. However, sources close to them told Dawn that both sides did not want to indulge mutual recrimination over the issue openly.

Opinion

Editorial

Fleeting good news
Updated 03 Dec, 2022

Fleeting good news

Indeed, there is no other option to get out of the economic mess we have created in the last few years.
Battle for spoils
03 Dec, 2022

Battle for spoils

THE spectacle playing out inside a London courtroom shines a light on the struggle for control of the assets of the...
CM Bizenjo’s complaint
03 Dec, 2022

CM Bizenjo’s complaint

BALOCHISTAN Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo’s claim that his province is facing a financial crunch due to ...
Wayward ideology
02 Dec, 2022

Wayward ideology

Anyone who claims his legacy for themselves should not treat his words so whimsically.
Progressive stance
02 Dec, 2022

Progressive stance

THE timing of two encouraging developments in the fight against domestic violence in Pakistan could not have been...
China Covid protests
02 Dec, 2022

China Covid protests

PUBLIC protests are rare in China where the People’s Republic maintains order through a strict authoritarian code...