A mound of trash along a street in Karachi, Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Sunday constituted a committee to launch the Clean Karachi Drive. Image Credit: New York Times

Islamabad: Heaps of garbage on Karachi’s streets and beaches continue to inconvenience citizens while municipal, provincial and federal governments blame each other for the civic woes of the provincial capital.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Sunday constituted a committee with special instructions to launch the Clean Karachi Drive and resolve the issues facing the city of over 20 million people.

The committee, headed by Law Minister Farogh Naseem, includes Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtiar, Frontier Works Organisation Director General Maj Gen Inam Haider and others. It was directed to prepare a comprehensive plan for addressing the city’s problems, particularly the removal of trash from the city, and implement it.


People reside in the provincial capital, Karachi

However, immediately after its birth the committee seems to have lost its operational authority as Naseem clarified that it has only ‘recommendatory’ powers.

“The committee will forward its recommendations to the PM and Sindh CM, and will be dissolved 10 to 12 days after that,” Naseem said.

There is little hope left for citizens of Karachi after Naseem’s statement as they were expecting some meaningful move by the ‘high-powered’ committee formed by the Prime Minister with regard to removing the garbage from Karachi’s streets to landfills and then to its scientific disposal.

Governor indicates another committee to oversee new projects

Governor Sindh on Wednesday while talking to media also spoke on this subject. “There are a number of authorities currently working in Karachi and we have to see how we can work in a single unit,” the governor remarked. He said a separate committee will look into Karachi’s new projects.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who was accompanying the governor, said that he has only heard about the committee on news channels and no one has spoken to him about it.

Zaidi made Karachi filthier: Gani

Meanwhile, Provincial Minister of Sindh for Local Government Saeed Gani, while reacting to the federal government’s initiative for Karachi’s cleanliness, said that Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi also took such an initiative and instead of improving the situation, he made Karachi filthier. After his mission was accomplished he left the city to God and went his way, Gani added.

Gani said forming committees and giving briefings will not solve Karachi’s issues.

“In order to solve the issues, all the stakeholders need to work together. If the committee formed by the prime minister showed seriousness and asked for cooperation, the Sindh government would assist,” he added.

Citizens dismiss politics over Karachi

On the other hand, citizens of Karachi showed their annoyance over what they called ‘lip service’.

“Unless they come out of their air-conditioned rooms and work on the roads supervising the entire operation clean-up, Karachi will continue to stink,” said Haji Khalil, a cloth merchant of Saddar, while talking to Gulf News. Currently, Karachi is presenting the worst example of administrative and municipal chaos and no one is there to take care of the city, said Khalil.

Another Karachi resident, Zahid Shaikh, said the provincial and federal governments are busy in taunting each other and scoring political points. Unfortunately, Karachi owns and adopts everyone from across the country but no one owns and cares for the city, Shaikh said.