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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is there a conspiracy to fail the Clean Karachi Campaign?

There is a continuous speculation that some elements are doing their utmost to fail the Clean Karachi Campaign started by Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi. It is not clear who might be behind this attempt to create hurdles and dead ends for the campaign, but social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp are full of evidence in the form of photos and videos that a counter campaign is indeed in progress.

The Clean Karachi campaign was launched on August 5 by the Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi who was elected to the National Assembly from NA 244 Karachi. The campaign began after Mr. Zaidi announced that garbage and dirty water was damaging areas that were directly under him: the port and coastal waters. He launched the campaign with approval and support from Prime Minister Imran Khan. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also authorized the Frontier Works Organization and National Logistics Cell to provide logistical support to the campaign.

The campaign was largely funded by Private sources and citizens of Karachi. The Minister raised a large amount of money through donations, the largest of which came from Habib Bank Limited.

In the campaign ALi Zaidi’s team and PTI volunteers cleared about 38 nalas or storm drains which were filled with solid waste especially plastic bags. The blocked drains would refuse passage of water during the rainy season causing Karachi’s roads to drown in water only after a few hours of rain. In addition to plastic waste, the nalas were blocked by dead bodies, animals, sand bags and even motorcycle parts.

Read more: Celebrities assemble to support PTI’s Ali Zaidi’s call to clean Karachi

Between Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha when the campaign was only beginning to get into motion Karachi had been completely inundated by 55mm of rain. However, after Eid-ul-Azha when most drains had been cleared even 170mm of rain did not have a sizable effect on the city’s infrastructure. This, Mr. Zaidi claims is clear proof of the campaign’s effectiveness.

Since then the the campaign to clean Karachi has been increasingly bogged down by politicking. The PPP Government in Sindh instead of joining forces with Ali Zaidi has been pointing out that the garbage removed garbage from the nalas only to pile it up on the banks. Minsiter Saeed Ghani, who was rotated out of the Local Bodies Ministry as well as government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab have been continuously trading barbs with Ali Zaidi ever since.

Then on September 21, the Sindh Government launched its own cleaning campaign called “Clean My Karachi”. The campaign is widely being perceived as a political step after being forced to follow in the footsteps of Ali Zaidi. Social Media users acknowledged that the Sindh govt had only sprung into action because of the atmosphere created by Ali Zaidi’s campaign that made it impossible for garbage in Karachi to be ignored.

However, videos show that garbage is being deliberately spread across Karachi in trucks in the dead of night.

This only suggests that someone is indeed out there to fail the cleanliness campaign. Who it really is needs to be investigated by the Sindh Government led by PPP and the Municipal administration led by MQM.