SHC seeks government's reply on mayor's petition seeking devolution of SSWMB

Akhtar had requested court to transfer all waste management board assets to local government institutions


Our Correspondent June 02, 2017
Sindh High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed on Thursday the provincial authorities to submit a reply on a petition seeking devolution of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) from the provincial government to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).

A two-judge bench, comprising of Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan, directed the provincial law officer to submit response till June 8.

The petition was filed by Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who belongs to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) - Pakistan.

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In the plea, the mayor had maintained that the SSWMB was established under the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board Act, 2014 with functions to cater to the needs of the people and was being run by the Sindh government since its establishment.

The mayor had referred to a Supreme Court (SC) order where the apex court had ordered that the 'non-functional board [SSWMB] has never performed and should be dissolved to local bodies as provided under the rules of business'. He had contended that despite the directives of the SC, the relevant provincial authorities had not taken any step to transfer the functions of the board to the elected local representative bodies.

Akhtar had pleaded to the court to direct the authorities concerned to transfer all the assets falling under the umbrella of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board Act, 2014 to the local government institutions. He had further requested the SHC to direct the respondents to give complete details of all the funds, which they had received for the purpose of solid waste management, and to appoint a reputable auditor to ascertain the facts.

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During Thursday's proceedings, the judges came to know that no reply had been filed on behalf of the provincial government authorities, who were previously issued a notice to do so. The law officer requested the court to grant more time to the government for submitting reply.

Granting request, the judges allowed time till June 8 to the law officer to file comments.

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