We might as well not have local government elections because the Sindh government has gutted out the city government, complains Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar.
He then gave examples of how the provincial government had started doing work that should have otherwise been done by KMC. “The Sindh government appointed project directors in the name of mega projects and started making main roads on its own,” he said on SAMAA TV’s show Naya Din May 10. “It gave contracts to contractors (thekedars), Tariq Road, University Road, Jehangir Park; it is doing these projects on its own. They are violating their own Sindh Local Government law.”
What was the point in such a local government that didn’t have any powers. If this is what it was going to be like, then they should not have local government elections next time, he said.
He said that the Sindh government had taken powers away from the city government by slowly issuing notifications on a number of fronts. Garbage collection, for example, used to be the KMC’s work but when the Sindh government created the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, it took over sanitation.
He said that the Sindh government was selective when it came to its focus. He believes that if it had the will it could have had the Karachi Circular Railway up and running. “The Sindh government wasn’t serious about it because it wanted to provide an alternate,” he said. “It didn’t play a terribly active role when it came to removing the encroachments. This is something only KMC kept doing.”