Sindh’s information and local government minister has said that the proposed city-specific waste management agencies to be established in the province will work under the elected municipal leadership of the districts concerned.
Addressing a news conference on Sunday, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said the Karachi Solid Waste Management Agency will be established as an autonomous body to carry out garbage disposal work in the city.
The Provincial Coordination & Implementation Committee had proposed in its meeting on Saturday that separate and autonomous waste disposal agencies will be established in the major cities of the province, while the existing Sindh Solid Waste Management Board will be retained as a centralised policy formulation body.
Shah said the proposed new system will bring improvement in the civic affairs of the cities of the province. He said work on a new local government system is under way, adding that there will be much improvement in the municipal affairs of the province after the introduction of the new system.
The LG minister said sanitation and tax collection work by the municipal agencies will improve with the introduction of the new municipal system in the province.
He said the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party was unable to create job opportunities for the public in sufficient number in the past five years due to less availability of funds from the federal administration.
He also said that the disbursal of salaries to the staff members of the provincial government has also become problematic due to the shortage of funds available from the Centre.
He claimed that the performance of the Sindh chief minister and his administration have been far superior to those of the federal and other provincial governments in the country.
He said CM Syed Murad Ali Shah will continue to be Sindh’s chief executive on the basis of his excellent performance. He also said the Sindh government has procured wheat in sufficient quantity so that the people of the province do not face wheat shortage.
The information minister said the federal government has completely failed to check wheat smuggling that has been causing a shortage of the essential commodity across the country.
He said the Sindh cabinet has adopted revised support prices of wheat and sugar cane to give the maximum advantage to farmers. He also said the provincial authorities will take swift action on complaints of the sale of wheat flour on exorbitant rates.
Regarding the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Karachi, the minister said the hospital has been providing excellent health care services to the people and the facility has no match.
A day earlier, it was revealed that the coordination committee on the federally-funded projects being carried out in Sindh had proposed separate autonomous bodies at the divisional level for waste disposal work while giving the responsibility for policy formulation to the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB).
A similar arrangement was also proposed for the building control function, which is currently under the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA).
The meeting of the Provincial Coordination and Implementation Committee (PCIC) was held at the Chief Minister House on Saturday with CM Murad Ali Shah in chair. It was attended by federal ministers Asad Umar and Aminul Haq among others.
After discussing the cleanliness of storm water drains in the city, the meeting concluded that the drains would remain choked until and unless an efficient system of garbage lifting was not evolved in the city. It was pointed out that owing to the improper lifting of garbage from the roads, the solid waste was being disposed of in the drains, which choked them resulting in urban flooding during heavy rains.
Participants of the meeting proposed to the provincial government to allow the SSWMB to function as a central policy making organisation and form separate and autonomous bodies in all the divisional headquarters in the province for door-to-door collection of garbage, and transportation of municipal waste to the garbage transfer stations and then to the landfill sites.
In this proposed arrangement, Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad would have separate solid waste management bodies for keeping these cities neat and clean.
The meeting was told that there were 422 dangerous buildings in the city but the buildings that collapsed during the last few months were all illegal constructions.
It was said that stopping illegal constructions had become necessary to keep the lives and properties of the people safe. The meeting proposed to the provincial government to allow the SBCA to serve as a policy making organisation while Karachi, Hyderabad and other divisions may have their own separate autonomous bodies for the building control functions.
It was also pointed out that every newly constructed building should have a specific life span and in case of its collapse before the completion of its life span, the builder should be held responsible.
The CM said that the provincial government would consider the proposal of the coordination committee.
The meeting also proposed hiring a consultant to design the drains as per the master plan and submit a report so that encroachments could be removed from the drains.