The Supreme Court of Pakistan turned down on Thursday a petition to reassign the responsibility for cleaning Karachi’s drainage system to the Sindh government from the National Disaster Management Authority, which it had assigned in the last hearing. The NDMA will clean Karachi, the court maintained.
The apex court, under Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, made the decision after resuming hearing a case regarding rain-related problems and unscheduled load-shedding in the metropolis.
— The_Nation (@The_Nation) August 13, 2020
In today’s hearing, the Sindh government presented a report related to its performance in the recent monsoon season and the measures it took to mitigate the problems caused by heavy rains.
“You [the Sindh government] show us pictures after cleaning up two nullahs and claim that [all of] Karachi has been cleaned up now,” the top judge remarked on the performance report.
CJP Ahmed inquired that if the drains were being cleaned up as was claimed then why did water inundate the city during the rains. “If the Sindh government was cleaning the drains then why did the NDMA have to step in?” the judge asked the provincial authorities in the court.
The advocate general responded saying it is not clear why the NDMA was sent to the city, claiming that 50% work was already done on the Gujjar nullah and 20-25% on the other major drains when the authority took charge.
ناظرین! اب چیف جسٹس کو بھی سندھ دشمن. بنانے کے ٹرینڈ چلانے کا وقت ہوا جاتا ہے۔ کچھ لبرلز نیپال چلے جائیں گے اور کچَ سپریم کورٹ کو بھی "نارمل" بننے کا درس دیں گے، اور لفافے ایسی ایسی تھیوریز پیش کریں گے کہ سائنسدانوں کی روحیں تڑپ اٹھیں گی۔ pic.twitter.com/6faDHnMXDC
— Ahmad Baig (@MAhmedbaig) August 12, 2020
The provincial government then sought time till August 30 for cleaning up the drainage system of the city.
To this, Justice Aijaz-ul-Hasan reminded the officials that the NDMA was already cleaning up the drains. He urged the Sindh government to help alleviate the problems of the residents of the metropolis.
Army is cleaning Karachi?
The Pakistan Army teams have also kicked off the cleanliness campaign in Karachi to assist the civil administration in removing dirt and garbage from the city’s major storm-drains.
The army-run Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) personnel initiated cleaning operation at Gujjar Nullah in Nazimabad with over 50 dumpers, cranes, and other machinery to remove the garbage, which had choked the flow of water in the drain during recent monsoon rainfall and submerged adjacent area.
As electrocution deaths in Karachi are increasing, Sindh Rangers personnel have also been deployed at the site of the drain clearance work which is led by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The garbage from the sewerage drain being immediately transferred to the landfill site. The drain clearance work has also been started at ‘Cafe Piyala’, an area in the Federal B Area of the metropolis with heavy machinery and other equipment.
After the 18th amendment, argue analyst, it was made sure that the provinces took charge of the local issues and address them accordingly. However, the Sindh government has apparently failed to devise any mechanism to deal with the crisis it faces every year during the monsoon season in Pakistan. Apart from rains, the garbage in the country’s largest city has always been a big challenge. But it remained largely unaddressed. The federal government is not doing what the Sindh government should have done long ago, argue political analysts. However, the fact of the matter is that the NDMA will clean Karachi which marks serious negligence of the provincial government.