Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed on Saturday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan People’s Party are all set to work together to resolve three major issues of the metropolitan city of Karachi.
Days after the federal and Sindh governments decided to set aside their differences for the betterment of Karachi, the premier said that the PTI and PPP governments have decided to immediately start working together for cleaning of nullahs, devising a permanent solution to the solid waste disposal and sewerage problems and ensuring water supply to the city.
Expressing sympathy with the people of Karachi who have been devastated by the torrential rains in the past few days, the prime minister assured the residents of Pakistan’s commercial hub that the federal and provincial governments were ready to permanently solve Karachi’s problems.
Taking to Twitter, the prime minister said that “The whole nation feels the pain our people in Karachi are going through. However, out of this devastation and suffering there is now a positive development as my government, along with the Sindh government, is moving to immediately act and resolve three major problems of Karachi”.
In the next tweet, PM Imran stated: “Cleaning the nullahs once and for all and dealing with encroachments impeding water channels; devising a permanent solution to the solid waste disposal and sewerage problems; and resolving the critical issue of water supply to the citizens of Karachi.”
The announcement has come on the heels of premier’s statement on August 28 wherein he said that the federal government was completely aware of the development needs of Sindh’s people, especially of Karachi, and assured that the Centre will play its due role in this regard.
President Arif Alvi welcomed the development and said Karachi and the rest of Sindh will never be left alone.
“A positive development. Cooperation between the federal and provincial governments can do wonders during this devastating crisis and also in the future in making of Storm Drains, Sewage Treatment, Solid Waste Management, Fresh Water Supply and Transport. Karachi and rest of Sindh will never be left alone,” he said.
The Centre and Sindh government have been at each others throats as rain spells have battered the province, with Karachi facing the major chunk of the disaster. At least 80 people have been killed in Sindh, 47 in various rain-related incidents in Karachi.
According to an update from the Sindh Chief Minister House, several areas
in the city are still submerged in water after torrential rains began Thursday.
“Rainwater has accumulated in some areas in Tower while several areas in Bath Island, Gulshan-i-Faisal and Clifton in the city’s south district are also submerged,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah informed the meeting, directing that those areas be cleared.
He questioned why the accumulated rainwater had not yet been removed from the south district, pointing out that the Urban Disaster Response Unit of the Karachi Municipal Corporation was not seen in action during the rains. “Identify all the points which can stop the flow of rainwater,” Shah instructed, adding that any buildings — whether government or private — that were stopping the outflow of rainwater should be bulldozed. The chief minister said government employees were working to clear areas of rainwater but people could not identify them because they “wore civilian clothes”.
“Make all [workers] wear jackets,” he added. “I want to fix the city even if I have to take the strictest measures,” he said. He also directed a senior member of the Sindh Revenue Board to conduct a survey of Karachi and other districts of Sindh to assess the damage. Shah further directed all deputy commissioners to take care of the nullahs in their districts and ensure that they did not choke.
“The nullahs are cleared of rainwater but are choked by rubbish and plastic shoppers. All these nullahs should be cleaned.” He said he was aware that there was a shortage of staff, adding that the government should hire “temporary staff to deal with the [rain-related] work on an emergency basis”.The chief minister was informed that power remains suspended in many areas of the city. Service at 170 out of Karachi Electric’s 1,900 feeders is yet to be restored, according to the statement. Meanwhile, Karachi Electric in a tweet said that 91 per cent of its feeders had been powered up.