Sindh chief minister’s last words, before he embarked on a journey to perform Umrah, were that his government was not responsible for the unhygienic condition of Karachi. He put the blame squarely on the local government department and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
The chief minister was presiding over a meeting at CM House on Thursday when he made these remarks. The chief minister was even quoted as saying that his own party’s local government minister Sharjeel Inam Memon had given cold-shoulder to Karachi’s water and sanitation issues. The chief minister’s criticism against Memon comes in the wake of reports of increasing differences between the two.
“A few party leaders have told the chief minister that Memon has started a media campaign to malign him,” a senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader told The Express Tribune. CM Qaim Ali Shah has also registered a complaint against Memon with the party leadership.
Memon, who is currently in the UAE, denied having any differences with CM Shah. He, however, declined to comment on the chief minister’s statement regarding the unhygienic condition of the city.
At the meeting on Thursday, CM Shah said that the KMC had failed to fulfill its responsibility, despite being given a large amount of funds. “The business community and traders are accusing me for the unhygienic Karachi,” he said. “They should keep in mind that there are separate bodies and departments that are meant to look after the sanitation work.”
The chief minister revealed that in addition to the KMC’s annual budget of Rs33.6 billion, the Sindh government would spend Rs47 billion during the current financial year, 2014-2015, to provide civic facilities to the people of Karachi.
The chief minister said that, in addition to its own annual budget of Rs33.6 billion, the Sindh government is spending more than Rs47 billion for the development of KMC during this financial year 2014-15 not only to provide civic facilities to the people of Karachi but also to improve its infrastructure.
The CM House spokesperson concurred with the chief minister, saying that the development of Karachi was one of the top priorities of the Sindh government. He said that the government was investing on the construction of flyovers, bridges, the Lyari Expressway and had earmarked funds for several transport projects.
The spokesperson lamented that it was sad that these services of the chief minister were ignored by the public, particularly the traders’ organisations. These people, he said, were unjustly blaming CM Shah for the worsening infrastructure of the city.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.