CM directs LG dept to purge its wings of corruption

KARACHI:Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (rtd) Maqbool Baqar has directed the local government department to activate its various wings and purge them of corruption particularly the Sindh Building Control Authority and Water Board.

“I am sorry to say that no layout plan of any building is approved with gratification and illegal hydrants have become a big source of easy money and all this is not acceptable and tolerable.”

SBCA: The CM said that the corruption in SBCA has earned a bad name for the government. “Every approval in SBCA costs [illegal] money and no layout plan is approved until and unless their palms are greased properly,” he lamented and added that the corruption was the main reason under which illegal construction was allowed.

The CM warned the SBCA to be an efficient, honest, and hardworking organization and work hard to contribute to the quality construction in the city, otherwise, he would take such a strict action that would echo on its every floor.

Justice Baqar directed local government minister Mubin Jumani to purge the SBCA of corruption. Justice Baqar told the SBCA management that he would pay a surprise visit to their office any time and would meet with the people there.

KWSB: The chief minister said that the hydrants were set up to provide water to the colonies established temporarily but here in the city hydrants have become a source of minting money. Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab told the CM that there were seven official hydrants of the water board. At this, the CM said that they should have a proper system, procedure, and rules to operate.

Mayor Karachi said that the water board with the support of the Police and Rangers has started a crackdown against illegal hydrants. He disclosed that the police have arrested 70 people for running illegal hydrants and impounded 17 water tankers. The CM directed the local govt dept to speed up operations against the illegal hydrants and did not allow such illegal trade.

The CM expressed his displeasure that the gutters were overflowing and damaging the roads. He directed KWSB to ensure a proper functioning of their sewerage system.

SSBMB: MD SSWMB told the meeting that approximately 11350 tons of solid waste was being generated in the city. MD SSWMB Imtiaz Shah said that 80 percent door-to-door collection in district south, 70 percent east, 80 percent Malir, 70 percent west, 80 percent Kiamari, 60 percent Korangi, and 55 percent Central was being carried out.

The CM directed the SSWMB to make this city neat and clean. The sweeping, trash collection, and washing of the road system needed to be improved further. He said he would personally visit different areas of the city to inspect the state of cleanliness.

The interim CM said that the entire cleanliness work, including door-to-door collection, manual and mechanical sweeping, road washing, attending community bins, and complaint management system have been outsourced to different companies. He added that the SSWMB has to get them to work efficiently for which the government was paying them. He urged the solid waste management to ensure proper sweeping and garbage lifting in the city.

Local councils: Secretary Local Govt Manzoor Shaikh told the CM that there were 1120 union councils, 486 union committees, and 142town committees, 36 municipal committees, 20 municipal corporations, 25 municipal corporations in Karachi, 22 district councils, two municipal corporations and one Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).

The CM was told that a period of six months has been notified as a “Transition period” from 19th June (oath taking). The local govt dept has formed a Provincial Transition Cell under Technical Member PLGC. District Transition Teams have been formed under the chairmanship of concerned DCs (Except for the Karachi Division where the Commissioner is chairman). The Transition officers have been posted on defunct councils for a Transition period.

The meeting was told that the Transition of Karachi and Shaheed Benazirabad has been completed. At this, the CM directed the local govt department to complete the transition by October 1, 2023, so that the local councils could start functioning in the larger interest of the people of the areas.

PSCM Hassan Naqvi told the CM that the local government has a portfolio of Rs75 billion. The department has 1241 schemes, including 672 ongoing and 549 new with an allocation of Rs62.5 billion and 20 mega schemes in Karachi of Rs12.5 billion. At this, the CM directed the local government departments to ensure the best quality of their schemes. He added that he had observed that the roads being constructed by the local government didn’t have drainage systems along them. Mayor Karachi said that the schemes launched during the last eight years have been taken care of in terms of developing stormwater drains and sewerage systems.

Ghost Employees: The CM said that he has complaints about having ghost employees in local councils. He directed the local government department to verify each and every employee and develop their digital data to trace out ghost employees.

Nullahs: Reviewing the progress of the compensation given to 6032 locally displaced persons (LDPs) of three major nullas- Mahmoodabad, Gjjar, and Orangi Nullahs, Secretary Local govt said that 23313 cheques have been disbursed, 27728 are in the process of disbursement and 4415 to be distributed shortly.

Commissioner Karachi Saleem Rajput told the CM that a desk has been set up in his office where LDPs) were being dealt. Beautification: The CM directed local government department and the KMC to take measures to beautify important roads, roundabouts and areas so that they give a good look. Minister Local govt Mubin Jumani said that he was personally holding meetings with local councils so that an appropriate beautification program could be launched.

Master Plan: The CM pointed out that the major cities of the province have no master plan, therefore development works were being carried out without any direction. At this PSCM Hassan Naqvi told the CM that the P and D dept has prepared master plans for 19 cities and now they need to be implemented. The CM directed the local govt department to work out a plan and strategy to implement the master plans prepared by the P and D dept.