Karachi coastline to be placed under CDA jurisdiction

Fishermen complain the authority, which has existed for the past 25 years, has done nothing

Hafeez Tunio September 03, 2019

KARACHI: For the first time, Karachi will be legally included in the jurisdiction of the 'Coastal Development Authority' (CDA) of Sindh. To this effect, the provincial government introduced a bill on Monday to add Karachi's coastline to the authority's jurisdiction, which now extends to the coastal areas of whole province.

According to officials, the CDA was formulated in 1994 for the development, improvement and beautification of the coastal areas of Thatta, Badin and Sujawal districts. There was no mention of Karachi. "I was surprised when I looked at the Coastal Development Authority Act 1994 and the authority's jurisdiction. As per the law, the coastal areas comprise the coast of Thatta, Badin and Sujawal. We brought this issue in the last cabinet meeting and submitted the bill in the assembly," Sindh Chief Minister's adviser on the environment, Barrister Murtaza Wahab told The Express Tribune.

As the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla was not present in the house, the bill was moved by Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh and is likely to be passed in the next session.

The coastal belt of Pakistan stretches 1,050 kilometres and falls only in Balochistan and Sindh. Balochistan occupies 70 per cent or 700 kilometres and Sindh's coast line is spread over 350kms. Despite its shorter area, Sindh's coast is rich in terms of fish resources because of 17 creeks in the Indus Delta.  "We, the fishermen, consider Korangi Creek as first creek and the last one is Sir Creek," explained Mohammad Ali Shah, chairperson of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum.

The irony is that even after 25 years of its existence, the coastal development authority has not managed to bring about any improvements in infrastructure along the coastline. "I don't see any development and beautification of the coast. The authority is only on paper," lamented Shah.

When questioned, Wahab said that they have devised a plan to develop the coastline. "After including Karachi in the coastal belt, we will launch many schemes and start plantation drives with other development schemes," he said, adding that the Sindh government has already set the Guinness World Record by planting over one million mangroves in 24 hours near Keti Bunder in Thatta district.

Sindh Assembly prorogued, finally

After running the show for 80 days, Sindh Assembly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani prorogued the session which started on June 12. It was the longest session in the assembly's history, which continued with gaps of several days, following the arrest of Durrani and PPP MPA Faryal Talpur by the National Accountability Bureau.

Earlier, as the session started with the speaker in the chair, PPP MPA Zulfiqar Shah raised the issue of production order of PPP's jailed MPA Faryal Talpur. "Mr Speaker, you have issued the production orders and this house has also adopted resolution on it, but the NAB and federal government authorities are not implementing it."

Delivering a fiery speech, Shah dispelled the rumours that there was a 'forward block' forming within the PPP. "Those who are fanning rumours about in-house changes live in fool's paradise," he said, adding that the PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur are seriously ill and proper medication is not being provided to him. "We will hold the PTI government accountable if something happens to him," he said. PTI MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman raised issue of water and sanitation in his constituency and lashed out at the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, the local government department and provincial government for failing to redress the same.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2019.


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