Following reports of widespread corruption within Sindh government departments, Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar has taken decisive action, starting with the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and the Karachi Water and Sanitation Board (KWSB). He has called on local government officials to activate various departments and root out corruption.
“I regret to say that no building layout plans are being approved without bribery, and illegal hydrants have become a lucrative source of income. This is unacceptable,” the CM emphasised.
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He expressed concern that corruption within the SBCA has tarnished the government’s reputation. “Every approval granted by the SBCA comes at a cost, and no layout plan gets approval without under-the-table payments,” he lamented and pointed out that this corruption has contributed to the problem of illegal construction in the city.
CM Baqar warned the SBCA to become an efficient, honest, and hardworking organisation committed to promoting quality construction in the city. He added that strict actions would be taken, if necessary. He instructed the interim Local Government Minister Mubin Jumani to eliminate corruption within the SBCA.
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The caretaker CM also expressed his concerns at illegal hydrants in the city, which were originally established to temporarily water supply to colonies but have now become money-making ventures.
Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab informed the interim CM about the crackdown initiated against illegal hydrants, which yielded the arrest of 70 individuals and the impounding of 17 water tankers.
CM Baqar directed the Local Government Department to expedite operations against illegal hydrants and prevent such unlawful activities. He also voiced his displeasure at overflowing gutters damaging the city’s roads and instructed the KWSB to ensure the proper functioning of the sewerage system.
Solid waste management: The managing director of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB), Imtiaz Shah, reported that approximately 11,350 tons of solid waste is generated in the city. He noted progress in door-to-door waste collection in various districts and vowed to improve sweeping, trash collection, and road cleaning. The CM said that he might personally inspect the city’s cleanliness.
Local Councils: Local Government Secretary Manzoor Shaikh briefed the CM on the structure of local councils in Karachi and their transition period. The CM directed the Local Government Department to complete the transition by October 1, 2023, enabling local councils to begin their operations in the best interest of people.
Infrastructure quality: CM Baqar emphasised the importance of proper drainage systems alongside road construction and instructed the local government departments to ensure the quality of their schemes.
Ghost Employees: The CM expressed concerns about ghost employees in local councils and directed the Local Government Department to verify all employees and establish digital records to identify ghost workers.
Nullah compensation: The CM reviewed progress in compensating locally displaced persons (LDPs) affected by major nullahs and called for efficient distribution of compensation cheques.