City Council demands Rs500bn package for Karachi uplift -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

City Council demands Rs500bn package for Karachi uplift

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: The city council on Wednesday passed a resolution demanding that the Sindh and federal governments immediately sanction at least Rs500 billion as a joint package for Karachi’s development.

“Karachi is a huge metropolis. It badly needs to rectify its dilapidated infrastructure [so that] people of the sixth most populated city of the world can be provided with basic civic facilities,” said the resolution passed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) council at its general meeting at the KMC building.

The meeting, which was presided over by Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, passed nine resolutions of which eight were passed unanimously.

The resolution demanding Rs500bn from the provincial and federal governments for the city’s uplift was tabled by Junaid Mikati of the Jamaat-i-Islami. Fellow council member Hanif Memon seconded it.

It was passed with a majority as some members did not show their hands. Those members belonged to various parties, thus, not any particular political party opposed the resolution.

Other eight resolutions, all passed unanimously, pertained to fumigation in the city; repairing and maintenance of fire brigade vehicles; rehabilitation of a road from Gulbai to PAF Base Masroor Gate No 1 near Hawkesbay; providing funds to union committee chairmen from the fund meant for uplift of city neighbourhoods; approval for recommending award of contract for entry fee at Beach Park, Gulshan-i-Jinnah and Hill Park to the parks committee for further review.

Mr Vohra said work on 168 schemes in the city would begin on Oct 15. He said the KMC funds were being provided to union committees; however, the metropolitan authorities were engaged in carrying out patchwork on various large streets of the city.

Karamullah Waqasi, parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, said everything including resolutions meant to be tabled in the council should first be given to the relevant committees to make them presentable. He said the performance of the district municipal corporations was better than the KMC’s.

He said the union committees were powerless despite the fact that their chairmen and members had to face their constituents, day in day out.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Aman Khan Afridi said the population of stray dogs had alarmingly increased in the city meriting immediate attention of the municipal authorities.

Mohammad Amir said Karachi was the revenue engine of the country, yet it was not being given the funds for the uplift it deserved.

Habib Hasan echoed the same demand, citing that the city should be given resources matching its population.

Advocate Arif Khan said all the departments of the municipal bodies should be free from corruption.

Firdous Naqvi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said the council members should be aware of the contracts being awarded by the parks and other departments.

Asif Siddiqui said the house should raise voice for restoration of the octroi tax, which had been KMC’s key source of revenue.

Comrade Jiskani said entry into the Beach Park should be free for public.

Hanif Surti, Waqar Tanoli, Kulsum Shama, Abdul Majeed, Tajuddin, and Fazal-ur-Rehman also spoke.

Estate official suspended

KMC officials said it was brought into the notice of Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar that a deputy director of the estate department had issued challans of 20 shops in Korangi-4 without his approval and “received huge sums while taking advantage of his posting” in return.

Mayor Akhtar suspended the deputy director and ordered an inquiry to investigate his ‘unauthorised and illegal’ actions. “No corrupt practice would be tolerated in the KMC and whoever is involved in such things will be immediately removed from his post and have to face strict action,” said Mayor Akhtar in a statement.