News Desk |
Nearly every small road and large avenue in Karachi has one thing in common: the heaps of garbage strewn across its length. Most empty plots, public buildings and even parks have a major littering problem as no effective waste disposal mechanism exists for most of the city’s 20 million inhabitants.
This presents immense challenges to Karachiites as it makes the already uncomfortable pedestrian experience even worse as citizens navigate through piles of trash and hold their breath through festering dumps of organic waste. It is also a setback to the meager attempts at beautification which the city administration makes, as most such projects will be adorned with all types of litter and other refuse soon after they are completed.
Karachiites have high hopes that a multilateral effort of this nature will actually yield real results on the ground.
Murals on walls around the city bear witness to this fact with their “paan” stains, and the state of the Sea View beach speaks volumes for itself. Recently, when the administration in the area tried to tackle this problem by adding giant fish-shaped dustbins to the beach, the children turned them to swings and began to play on them instead. In all fairness, it is a failure on the part of the authorities that they were never able to foster an atmosphere of self-regulation or responsibility concerning basic matters of civics all around the city.
While the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) and provincial government continued to sleep on the problem, Federal Minister Ali Zaidi noticed the problem after the rains swamped the ports under his control with litter in the water which prevented some ships from docking. Himself an MNA from NA-244 in Karachi, Zaidi recognized that this problem is something that is experienced citywide and not just at the ports. Apparently he reached out to Prime Minister for help.
Federal Govt comes to Karachi’s rescue
Then, on the directions of PM Imran Khan himself, Zaidi began to hold meetings with all concerned stakeholders in the city. This included the Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Federal minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi and various MNAs of the MQM and PTI. Various key players from the civil society, NGOs and government bodies were also engaged.
It is in this context, that FWO (Frontier Works Organization) and NLC (National Logistic Cell) got involved. The FWO and National Logistics Cell (NLC) have been engaged at the forefront of the effort due to their advanced logistical abilities. Both work under GHQ and have been instructed by the COAS, Gen. Bajwa, to help federal government’s campaign for a cleaner Karachi. PTI emerged as the most popular party of Pakistan’s largest city and its urban and commercial center but federal government has no executive presence on ground. Mayor, Waseem Akhtar, is from MQM but office of Mayor has limited financial powers and capacities to deliver. Karachiites have high hopes that now since federal government is organizing a multi-agency effort so it will finally yield results for the city.
Inshallah with the help of the citizens of this great city, we will clean up Karachi from trash in the next 2 weeks. #LetsCleanKHI
— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) July 31, 2019
Zabardast initiative, Karachi deserves attention #LetsCleanKHI together
— Imran Ismail (@ImranIsmailPTI) August 1, 2019
The FWO is one of the main players for this project in light of its experience and capacity in such large-scale efforts; it has been primarily responsible for the Karachi-Hyderabad motorway, Lyari Expressway and countless other projects around the country. The FWO is the brainchild of the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, who in 1966 felt the need to create a new organisation specially equipped to deal with the mammoth task of constructing the Karakoram Highway.
Fund Mobilization for Clean Karachi Campaign
Since successfully executing that unprecedented feat of engineering, the FWO has been indispensable to the country’s infrastructure needs. It is hard to envision a project of such economic and strategic importance, bound to a strict time frame of completion, being undertaken without the professional experience of the FWO. Ali Zaidi actually asked supporters of the drive to deposit their donations to an FWO account.
Friends of #LetsCleanKHI drive who want to help, please deposit ur donations directly:
ACC NO: 0786-7918163603
PK41 HABB 0007 8679 1816 3603
Deposit in any of the 1600+ branches of @HBLPak
Let’s clean our great city
— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) August 5, 2019
Celebrities come together to support Ali Zaidi’s cleanup drive
#LetsCleanKHI began trending heavily on social media ever since Zaidi’s announcement in which dozens of celebrities including Ali Zafar, Strings, cricketer Wahab Riaz, actor Faysal Qureshi, legendary writer Anwar Maqsood, Shehzad Roy, comedian Ali Gul Pir, journalist Hamid Mir, and Salman Iqbal participated and echoed their unequivocal support for the initiative.
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) August 1, 2019
Alongside politicians and celebrities, Ali Zaidi’s momentous campaign has also garnered support from major corporations, many of whom have offered a helping hand. Zaidi declared that “we want to show [the Sindh government] at least once that ‘if there is a will there’s a way’; we will clean the city and leave it on the provincial government to maintain it in future.”