KARACHI: PTI Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, at the launch of the ‘Clean Karachi’ drive on Sunday, said that the federal government wanted to show that it was possible to clean the city.
He was addressing media and supporters at the launch of the federal government-initiated campaign to clean the metropolis — the first target being to de-silt all storm-water drains before Eidul Azha.
“We want to clean-up [Karachi] and once and for all show that it is possible to clean this city,” he said.
“Let us bring [the waste] to zero and then you can maintain it, send less money to Dubai and maintain the city,” Zaidi said in a veiled reference to the PPP-led Sindh government.
The federal minister said that he hoped at least 15,000 volunteers would register with the campaign today. Following registration, Zaidi said the volunteers would be divided into districts after which work would be done by two teams.
Zaid thanked the Pakistan Army for deploying Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) forces for the campaign, adding that the ‘Clean Karachi’ drive would take place in two phases.
While addressing the ceremony, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that Karachi has not received the resources it deserves.
“Where does revenue collected from taxes in Karachi go? Does it go to Larkana?” Akhtar asked, referring to PPP’s stronghold.
The issue of cleanliness in Karachi often brings the PPP-led Sindh government under serious criticism since it has been ruling 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.
“I am fed up,” MQM-P’s Akhtar said, adding that he had written a letter to Zaidi regarding the matter. He thanked the federal minister and Prime Minister Imran Khan for launching the campaign and requested that all parties stay “above politics” while working on it.
The ‘Clean Karachi’ drive is being launched on the directives of the premier in close partnership with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-led local government set-up and federal institutions like FWO and National Logistics Cell.
On Saturday, Zaidi formally briefed the media about the plan and its execution during the next two weeks at a press conference held at his office in the Karachi Port Trust building.
“In the first phase we are going to clear all storm drains in the city,” he said. “I have very clear directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan who said clean the city — whatever it takes.”
“We are determined and moving with a very positive approach. I am thankful to Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and our [PTI] MPAs and MNAs, who have assured their full support and are all set to achieve the target,” he said. “Last night, I watched a news channel [report] that a Sindh minister was saying that he would contact me to extend his support. But no such thing has happened yet.”
Zaidi said that premier had directed that Karachi could not be left helpless the way it had been by the Sindh government for such a long time.