KARACHI: Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar said on Tuesday that despite having limited resources and authority, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation would begin on Thursday a 100-day campaign to clean the city.
“We’ll use the available resources we have to repair or reconstruct the major arteries during the widespread cleanliness drive in the coming 100 days,” said Mr Akhtar at a press conference at his office in the old KMC building.
He said the local government system held prime importance in the world and “if it is left devastated, democracy could not run in the country”.
Leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement; Faisal Sabzwari; Amin-ul-Haq; parliamentary leader in the city council Aslam Afridi, Advocate Arif Khan; chairmen of DMC Central, East and Korangi, Rehan Hashmi, Moeed Anwer, and Nayyar Raza were also present.
The city mayor said repairing and carpeting of roads would be commenced along with routine works performed by DMCs. He said people belonging to all walks of life would support his team.
Waseem Akhtar asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to announce a special and bigger package for Karachi. Besides, he requested the federal and provincial governments to provide him resources that could fulfil at least the minimum requirements of the city that fed Sindh and the rest of Pakistan.
He said the KMC would provide support and cooperation to the DMCs during the 100-day drive despite having negligible resources and constitutional authority.
“We know it well that we have no resources and far limited authority to carry forward, but our passion and spirit is unlimited.”
He said the DMCs in Karachi Central, East and Korangi [where MQM rules] were already active partners in the campaign, however, other DMCs were being consulted to join the campaign.
The mayor said the MQM took part in the elections under the existing local government system which was formulated in a fashion that municipalities were offered no resources and authority, thus, he had taken it as a challenge to serve citizens according to their expectations.
“Whatever resources we have, we’ll try our level best to act in accordance with the trust of the people in us. We will make sure that all elected representatives of different parties in Karachi are on board to get positive results under mutual consultation.”
He said his team had planned to repair roads and cleanliness drive during the coming 100 days in Karachi East, Central and Korangi districts. Besides, construction of schools, parks, playgrounds and hospitals would be established in 15 to 20 selected union councils of the three districts.
Mr Akhtar said citizens of the country’s largest metropolis and its financial capital were just seeking for better sanitation conditions and nothing else. He said no road repairs were carried out in the past eight years in the city.
“We have a team of committed and talented people who would support our cause to revive the city’s lost glory,” he said and sought support of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah saying that the ultimate credit would go to the Sindh government.
“Mr Shah was born in Karachi and he has assured me of his full support for the betterment of the city. I have full trust in him.”
“We want to make local government strong as it is considered the nursery of democracy.”
Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan invited all political parties having a say in Karachi to come forward and join hands with the cause the MQM was spearheading.