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Who will come to rescue Karachi?

October 31, 2019
Who will come to rescue Karachi?

The Sindh government’s one-month-long cleanliness campaign in Karachi ended some time ago, but the streets are still covered in garbage.

The citywide campaign started on September 21.

The Sindh government had released Rs300 million to all six districts to carry out the cleanliness campaign with a share of Rs50million for each district.

The district administrations are not ready to share the summary of the funds that were utilised during the campaign. They only managed to say that the district administrations lifted garbage using private contractors from the front end and deposited it to the garbage transfer stations. From here, the garbage was transported to landfill sites.

Residents of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Shadman Town, Baldia, Orangi, Landhi, Shah Faisal and Saudabad, however, say that the cleanliness campaign was not fully operational.

Majority of the residents said that they saw dumpers, loaders, excavators and other machinery to lift the garbage from the roads in their areas, but the exercise only lasted a week.

Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah says that the cleanliness campaign is not over yet.

“Karachi’s cleanliness campaign will continue till the removal of garbage from the city,” he said, adding that the government is working on improving the system of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board.

The government official said that Rs300 million is not much for accountability to be taken.

A handout from the Sindh chief minister’s office was issued at the end of the one-month campaign which stated that a total of 979,941 tons of garbage was lifted, out of which 295,563 tons reached landfill sites from garbage transfer stations.

The core issue of Karachi’s garbage is linked with the backlog which has not been lifted on a regular basis for several years.

This was stated by SSWMB Managing Director Asif Ikram. He said the city has a garbage backlog of around 16,00,000 tons. Garbage of around 14,000 tons to 16,000 tons is being produced on a daily basis in Karachi.

During a survey of different areas of the city, it was observed that routine as well as backlog garbage is not being lifted properly.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Alamgir Khan demanded a proper audit of the funds released for the cleanliness campaign.

He said that the SSWMB has formed a temporary GTS near residential areas and schools. These GTS should be demarcated by erecting proper walls, he said.

The PTI MNA said that although people had gotten a relief of 40% after the campaign, it is not enough.

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