There are 1,500 city wardens working under the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), but most can’t be seen on the streets.
SAMAA TV’s correspondents Muhammad Ali Hafeez and Ahmer Rehman visited six locations in the city and were disappointed to see that barely any city wardens were on duty.
A city warden is supposed to aid the traffic police and help guide the people on the streets.
Those who were on site, were not doing their duties. They were either having a cup of tea or lying around and chilling with their friends. The issue was highlighted on SAMAA TV’s show 7se8 on Wednesday.
While the city wardens are hired for managing traffic problems and looking after the city’s problems, they are working for politicians as guards. They are also reportedly not being paid their salaries, and some have found alternative jobs.
The duty roster with SAMAA TV shows that at least five city wardens are deployed in each area in Karachi.
Five wardens are appointed in the morning shift and four in the evening at Aisha Manzil Chowrangi. But there were none on duty. There was a similar situation at Water Pump Chowrangi, Tahir Villa, Disco Bakery, Defence Morr and Bahadurabad.
The traffic police officers complained that their work load has increased because there is no one to assist them.
Former deputy mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party leader Arshad Vohra said this is happening because of bad governance and corruption.
“It all depends on the management,” he said, adding that in his tenure, he physically went and checked whether the officers are doing their duty. “City wardens are trained to help in rescue operations but now you don’t see them on traffic signals.”
City Warden Director Raja Rustom, however, says the duty roster is from 2018 and uniforms were distributed to the city wardens in 2017.
When asked why the wardens were not on duty, Rustom said that the duties of several city wardens at Defence Mor have been changed. “We have shifted their duties to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where previously 54 people were on duty but now there are 118. Some people have also been shifted to Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim,” he said.
Rustom said that the change in duties was because of Ashura and because there are more emergencies to deal with at Abbasi Shaheed.
Commenting on the issue of VIP protocols, he said the protocols have been assigned from before and not by them.
He claimed that there was no issue of pending salaries. “Only those people who have not submitted their documents have not been paid,” he said, adding that many city wardens were on contract and their employment was regularised only three months ago.
“Pending salaries will be released tomorrow,” he said.