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National

April 17, 2018

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Judicial commission directs action against officials failing to supply water in Karachi

KARACHI:The judicial commission, probing non-provision of clean drinking water, sanitation and healthy environment to the people of the province, on Monday took exception over appointment of non-cadre officer as acting metropolitan commissioner Karachi and directed the Sindh government to appoint cadre officer of repute to the post within one week.

The commission headed by Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim was informed by the Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar that Dr. Asghar Sheikh was appointed metropolitan commissioner as an interim arrangement, while conceding that he does not belong to the official cadre. The commission directed the Sindh government to relieve the acting commissioner today and appoint a cadre officer so the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation can run smoothly.

The commission also took notice over lack of water supply to the residents of Baldia Town, Buffer Zone 16-A and Orangi Town and directed the member task force Asif Hyder Shah to inquire into the matter and submit report. The commission observed that the residents are not getting water from pipelines and they are compelled to purchase water from water tankers.

The commission directed the MD Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to stop the water theft and take action against officials and operators failing to supply water. The commission also directed the MD KWSB to find out why block-2, Clifton is not being provided water while the residents are being charged by the KWSB for their water bills.

The commission observed that the residents are compelled to purchase water from tankers and directed the KWSB to submit a plan to address this deficiency effectively. Regarding affairs of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, (SSWMB) the commission directed the SSWMB to ensure that the employees transferred by the district municipal corporation show up for work, and stop their if they do not and initiate departmental proceedings against the absent employees. It also observed that the private contractors violating the agreement by not hiringthe requisite manpower. The commission directed that the salaries of such 'number of employees' who were supposed to be employed but not engaged by the contractor, shall be deducted or adjusted by the SSWMB till the appointment of the required number of staff.

The commission also directed the SSWMB to release all the arrears of the, garbage lifting, contractors and in future expedite their payment following verification of the work. The Member Task Force, Syed Asif Hyder Shah, said the SSWMB does not have a district-wise monitoring system. At that, the commission directed him to ask the deputy commissioners, who had consented to facilitate the monitoring cell and who were also ordered to act as coordinators in their districts. It directed the chief secretary to ensure the landfill site for the solid waste is allocated immediately.

The commission took exception over awarding contacts of the Jamshoro filter plants to contractors who have no professional background. It directed the chairman task force to conduct inquiry along with commissioner Hyderabad into the contractor's competence and only if the commissioner Hyderabad is satisfied, the contract can continue.

The Mayor Karachi, Waseem Akhtar, said his team is working to clear all the storm water drains and sought time to submit progress within one day. The commission took notice of KDA's poor performance for executing development work at the Gujjar Nullah. It observed that the KDA has appointed a consultant who is unfit to undertake hydraulic design efficiently. It directed the Chief Secretary to submit report on appointment of chief engineer KDA and the capability of the private consultant to perform development work at the Gujjar Nullah.

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