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Sindh awards Rs100,000 for information about people strangling sewers

Sindh’s govt has announced Rs100,000 cash prize for anyone giving helpful information leading to the detention of the anti-social elements trying to prevent their recently launched project of cleaning up Karachi by putting garbage on roadside and squeezing sewers with sticks and gunny sacks.

Information and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani made the announcement while addressing a news conference at the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday. He made the assurance that the identity of the people providing this information will remain confidential.

Ghani said that two WhatsApp numbers — 0300-0074296 and 0300-0084296 — have especially been dedicated for the people to send pictures and video clips exposing the actions of the miscreants intending to harm the clean-up drive.

He said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has backed the idea of announcing the prize money, adding that the people involved in such lawlessness will be taken to task irrespective of their organisational or political affiliation, as in no way will their criminal activities be forgiven.

Ghani said that on previous occasions he had openly held the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) responsible for choking the city’s sewers, adding that the party usually carries out such acts to later hold protests at those sites (against overflowing sewage).

He said that this practice of the MQM harked back to time when they used to carry out target killings across the city and later protested against those same murders.

The minister said that due application of law against such mischievous acts was very much clear, as the provincial government in this regard had issued instructions to the deputy commissioners and the municipal commissioners of the respective district municipal corporations to get FIRs registered and take other punitive actions against such elements.

He said that rocks, stones and gunny bags were used under a conspiracy to choke the sewerage lines in the city to cause the ongoing cleanliness drive of the Sindh government to fail.

He added that the provincial government did not have the capacity to keep surveillance on the roads spread over several thousands of kilometres and the 400,000 manholes across the city to save them from getting choked.

He claimed that in the past only the MQM had been involved in stuffing gunny bags, quilts, pillows and rocks in the drainage lines to choke them, but this time other elements had also emerged to support the opposition party.

He said the media and the concerned citizens of the city had to support the provincial government’s drive to identify the elements involved in roadside dumping of garbage and choking of sewers with the intention to sabotage the cleanliness campaign.

Ghani said he himself stopped his vehicle in District West to take pictures of the elements involved in littering on those roads of the area that had been cleared of trash the previous night.

He said the CM had been personally supervising the campaign being conducted in the city to clear the backlog of municipal waste from its different areas, adding that the lifted trash was being properly disposed of at the landfill sites.

He also said that 18 members of the provincial cabinet had been assigned duties in different districts of the city to monitor the ongoing cleanliness campaign. Due focus is being given to the Central, West and Korangi districts to remove the backlog of municipal waste from there, he added.

CM Shah said late on Monday night that on his request the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had given him more time so that he could prepare the answers to the questions they had given to him on September 17. He was talking to the media in Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block-6.

He and his cabinet members Syed Nasir Shah, Ghani and Murtaza Wahab visited the South, East and Korangi districts to observe the progress of his ongoing drive to clean the city.

The chief executive said that after giving him the questionnaire, NAB had summoned him on September 24. “I have seen the questionnaire and it has some questions that need to be answered in the light of the Constitution.” He added that he had requested NAB to give him some more time so he could answer all the questions properly. He thanked the anti-graft watchdog for accepting his request.

Sweepers

Replying to a question, the CM said sweepers were the most important people and deserved respect. “They are cleaning whatever trash we are generating and we must respect them for their service,” he added. He announced that he would increase their pay or provide them extra allowance.

Talking about the ground located behind the Aero Club, he said that it was under litigation. “I have heard that before turning the ground into a garbage dumping point, children used it as a playground.”

He added that after lifting the garbage, he would restore it as a playground again and would also implement the court’s decision when it was announced. To another question, Shah said that some unscrupulous elements were trying to cause the cleanliness drive to fail. “I’m not doing all this to get some credit but I’m only trying to serve the people and help the local bodies and civic agencies.”

He said that politicians of defeated minds are stuffing the sewers with sandbags and stones to choke them so they could raise a hue and cry against the failure of the drive, but all these tactics are outdated and the people can easily identify them.

The chief executive said that during the three days of the Clean My Karachi Campaign, more than 26,000 tonnes of garbage has been lifted and transported to the temporary garbage transfer station (GTS).

Visits

On the drive’s third day the CM started his visit from District South and surveyed the areas of the zoo and Ranchore Line. He monitored the cleaning of a residential plot in Garden West’s Orange Lane where people were dumping garbage for the past many years.

The locals gathered around him to tell him that the dumping ground had turned the site into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. They told him that the entire area reeked of a foul odour, which had become more unbearable when the garbage was being lifted.

The CM directed the South DC to arrange cover for the garbage. He also ordered the district administration to clean the ground and then find its owner so that it could be saved from becoming a GTS again. He also issued orders for developing and installing dustbins in the area. The people of the area thanked the CM for his initiative and also shouted slogans in his favour.

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