Karachi, March 28, 2017 (PPI-OT):Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar said the latest Supreme Court decision on the poor performance of various departments including Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, Water Board and North Sindh Urban Services Corporation Ltd. (NSUSC) was an opportunity to the Sindh Government to take on board the elected local governments for solving city problems by returning them the powers given to local bodies by the constitution of Pakistan.
Had stakeholders in Karachi were consulted or provided the opportunity to serve the people the situation would not have reached to this level when Supreme Court had to give such judgment. If Government did not pay heed to our requests then it should at least pay attention to the Supreme Court’s observations. All parties in city council were with us on city issues, we want to erase the bad governance label from the Sindh Government by providing them help and support in this connection.
He expressed these views while addressing a packed press conference in his office on Tuesday where he was accompanied by the chairman of DMC East Moeed Anwer, Chairman DMC Korangi Nayyar Raza, Vice Chairman DMC Central Shakir Ali, parliamentary leader in City Council Aslam Shah Afridi, parliamentary leader from PTI Firdous Naqvi, from JUI Junaid Mukati, from ANP Alam Zaib Aalai, from JUI Akbar Hashmi, from PML (N) Amanullah Afridi and other local government representatives.
Mayor Karachi on this occasion gave excerpts from the Supreme Court Judgment CP 38/16 dated 16 March 2017 which he said clearly demonstrate that the Government of Sindh has to act accordingly and dissolve this SWM Board immediately and assign the functions of the SWM Board to local councils immediately. He said this judgment clearly lays down that Supreme Court has shown serious concerns about the working of the SWM Board in the following words. “We are very much disturbed.”
“Instead of making improvement on the aforesaid functions of the local bodies in addition to the budgetary allocation to the local government departments, the Sindh Government has introduced the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board Act, 2014, assigning most of the functions which the sanitary workers of the local bodies were to perform and for which they are being paid their salaries on regular basis. Supreme Court further says that huge amount is being spent without a result on SWM. “Every year, an amount of 35 crores is allocated to the Board out of which 20 crores is spent on the salaries whereas 15 crores are spent on non-salary account.
This Board has not done anything till date to remedy the agonies of the residents of the cities except on papers where it is shown to be active. He referred to the Supreme Court’s observations about the working of SWM Board which says that: “The ground reality is that this Board is replica of the NSUSC, which was drawing handsome amounts from Asian Development Bank and the Sindh Government and prima facie these amounts were misused and abused by the Management of NSUSC.”
“The Incharge of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board was heard by us. We are not impressed by his skills and/or expertise as he has no administrative experience of the job description.” Thus, the Supreme Court has shown complete distrust on the MD by saying that his skills or expertise are not impressive as he has not administrative experience. Supreme Court has further decided that “If this Board is allowed to exist, it would be a permanent liability of the Sindh Government.”
“The report of the Commission is a charge sheet with regard to the working of various departments in the Sindh Government, including the Solid Waste Management Board which has failed to deliver even though the Management is drawing salaries in crores of rupees and a substantial amount is being paid for non-salary expenses.”
Thus, the SC has decided that “We under these circumstances are compelled to observe that this Court has serious reservations with regard to the continuation of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board programs, which has failed to deliver in any part of Sindh including Karachi, and as the Government continues to also pay to Local Government Departments for the same work. Such amounts need to be utilized by strengthening the departments which are meant for the aforesaid job.”
SC has also cautioned against running SWM Board as parallel department in the following words. “Running a parallel organization to perform the same function leads to bad governance and lack of responsibility and accountability, which is sadly the order of the day, as clearly demonstrated from the material collected by the Commission and by viewing the recordings. SC has also concluded in the following words: Experiments should end now.
The non- functional Board which has never performed should be dissolved by transferring its functions to the local bodies as provided under the Rules of Business” He said the Council of Karachi / KMC has taken a serious view of the situation and we are meeting in the Council shortly to discuss the situation and develop a comprehensive policy so that the issue of solid waste management should be resolved in the best interest of Karachiites.
We aim to help Government of Sindh by extending our support and developing a policy so that the people of Karachi should not suffer. He said we also caution the Government of Sindh that if our suggestions are not heeded we reserve our right to approach the Supreme Court or the Water Commission which has been assigned the powers of High Court for the implementation of this order.
He said we believe that the observations of Supreme Court are in line with the aspirations of the peoples of Karachi and they (people of Karachi) believe that this judgment shall pave the way for the elimination of the year’s long problem of Solid Waste Management and they shall be able to have cleaner and better environment in Karachi. In the press conference parliamentary leaders from different parties also expressed their views and supported the stance of Mayor Karachi and demanded the Sindh Government to give more powers and funds to the local bodies so these could perform public welfare works.
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