Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi inaugurated on Sunday the ‘Let’s Clean Karachi’ Campaign, under which he plans to remove garbage from the city.
Speaking to the media outside the KPT Building, the minister said they will engage many stakeholders, like local MPAs and MNAs, the city government, and the FWO but they need the people’s help too.
There will be two phases of this campaign, he said. We will clean the drains and move the trash along the sides so that when the next rain comes, it doesn’t gather again, said Zaidi.
We will clean Karachi once, he said, adding that after that, it will be the city’s responsibility to maintain it. We will need engineering , bobcats, dumpers and excavators for the first phase and the FWO will do it all, he said. He said last night, the FWO officials had sat together with the local bodies officials to see where the trash needed to be removed first and what points it would station its heavy machinery.
He said 50 to 60% of the city live in shanty towns. There is no town planning on how to develop low income areas, said Zaidi, adding that half of the KPT and Railway department’s land has been encroached upon. But he didn’t blame the people living on that land. “They can’t sleep on the roads and that land was empty,” he said. If someone had made a low income housing scheme, this wouldn’t happen, he added. He said the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme would resolve this issue.
He urged residents of the city to work with them if they aren’t happy with the state of Karachi today. “I have come to you with a begging bowl for Karachi,” said Zaidi, urging people to cooperate.
We will park the dumpers in certain areas, and we’ll tell you where, and all we ask is for you to bring your trash to them dumpers, he said. He explained that there are thousands of narrow lanes in Karachi and the machinery and personnel won’t be able to get the trash from all of them.
“We will clean Karachi once and then we’ll see,” he repeated.
The minister also urged construction companies and contractors to stop leaving construction material outside sites both during and after construction. “Don’t do this,” he urged, explaining that it causes accidents for motorcyclists and garbage to accumulate.
His speech was temporarily interrupted by people chanting slogans against him.