Islamabad: Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi is heading an ambitious campaign to rid Karachi of garbage.
He has conveyed to Prime Minister Imran Khan the concerns of Mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar about lack of funds and cooperation by the provincial government of Sindh.
On Imran’s directives, Zaidi last month announced the launch of the Clean Karachi campaign in coordination with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM)-led City Government in Karachi and federal government organisations including Frontier Works Organisation and National Logistics Cell.
Pakistan’s property tycoon Malik Riaz has also offered his logistical support to execute the Clean Karachi programme.
The minister is also receiving support and cooperation of residents of the city who have been complaining about massive garbage dumping sites scattered across Karachi.
The campaign has received support of the public at large, at the same time the provincial government of Sindh is criticising it. The provincial government sees it as interference in its domain since it has been calling the shots in the province for the past 11 years and enjoying the management control of key civic institutions like the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board and Sindh Building Control Authority.
The provincial government has blamed the federal government for dumping garbage in different parts of the city or in nullahs (streams) rather than landfills.
“Such practice could further endanger the clearance of water in case of the expected two-day rainfall in the city during Friday and Saturday,” said Minister for Local Government Nair Hussain Shah.
However, undeterred by such criticism, Zaidi is determined to make his campaign a success and is urging city dwellers to name and shame those who litter in streets or public places.
“I am working on a one-point agenda and it was to clean the city,” he said while meeting various delegations including universities chancellors on Tuesday.
“Till the city is rightly cleaned, we shall be collecting and lifting garbage,” he re-assured.
The federal minister hopes at least 15,000 volunteers would register with the campaign. Following registration, Zaidi said the volunteers would be divided into districts after which work would be done by two teams.