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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Who will be the new administrator of disaster-struck Karachi?

Rumour mills are churning as sources reveal that Sindh government and the federal authorities are at odds over the names for new appointment

Speculation about the appointment of the next Karachi Administrator has intensified as the port city comes under national and international spotlight over a spell of rain that has devastated entire neighborhoods, left millions without power for more than two days, and brought life in the business capital of the country to a standstill.

According to sources, a senior bureaucrat and former finance secretary, Mohammad Younus Dagha, is likely to be appointed as the administrator of Karachi by the Sindh government. The Grade-22 government officer, Mohammad Younus Dagha, is expected to be made administrator of the port city as the local government had completed its tenure on August 28 (yesterday).

Mohammad Younus Dagha possesses a strong portfolio of civil services since 1985 in varied fields including energy, finance, commerce, international trade and public administration. Dagha had also served as Secretary Water and Power in 2014.

He holds post-graduate degrees in Business Administration, Economics, Law and Commerce. From being an administrator at various tiers in the Provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Project Director in mega projects, Dagha possesses a vast and varied experience.

Sindh government’s denial

A provincial minister in Sindh, Saeed Ghani, had recently rejected the likely appointment of Mohammad Younus Dagha as the administrator of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). Ghani said in a statement that Dagha’s name was not considered for the KMC’s top position in any meeting of the Sindh government.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had said that the administrator of Karachi would be appointed in accordance with the law after the local government institutions complete their tenure on August 28.

On August 22, it emerged that the Sindh government had finalised names for appointing an administrator in Karachi. Sources said that the provincial authorities had finalised two names for the administrator of Karachi, including Secretary Investment Najam Ahmed Shah and Secretary Finance Hasan Naqvi.

Read More: Imran Khan orders NDMA to fix rain ravaged Karachi

Meanwhile, it had also emerged that names of three bureaucrats and civil society members each were also mulled over for the position.

Is Karachi’s Mayor ineffective?

The local government in Karachi remained largely ineffective. The Supreme Court of Pakistan recently lambasted the authorities responsible for administrating Karachi while hearing a case related to billboards being swept away during strong winds and causing injuries and deaths.

The SC bench, under Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, criticized Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, the Sindh government, electricity utility K-Electric, and others over what it called dereliction of duty.

During the hearing, the CJP asked where the mayor of the city was, noting that Akhtar is always complaining about lack of powers. “Go home if you do not have authority; why are you sitting as a mayor?” remarked the CJP.

Justice Ahmed then inquired about the tenure of the mayor, to which Akhtar, who presented himself before the court, responded that he will leave the post on August 28. “Go, leave the city be,” lashed out the CJP, saying that the mayor of the city is responsible for the destruction of the city during their tenure. “The mayor Karachi seems to have a vendetta against the city, [even though] people voted for him so that he could do something for Karachi,” said the judge.

Torrential rains hit Karachi

At least 10 people lost their lives in drowning incidents during the disastrous spell of monsoon rainfall in Karachi over the past two days. Rescue officials said that a dead body was found in the sinkhole formed on a road as a result of incessant heavy raining near Liaquatabad, whereas, two bodies were recovered from Hawkes Bay and Korangi Crossing areas.

The rescuers have recovered one body from Temoria nullah and another body from an underpass near Punjab Chowrangi. On the other hand, an electrocuted corpse of a motorcycle rider was found near Qayyumabad.

Read More: Army called in Karachi: Where is the Sindh government?

Near Pologround area of Karachi, a submerged body of a 14-year-old boy who was a resident of Hijrat Colony was found sunken in the accumulated water and later transferred to Jinnah hospital on Thursday, while two bodies were recovered from Gulshan e Iqbal town as well.

From Manzoor Colony, where two young people were reported missing earlier, a body of one has been found drowned in the flash floods.

At least five bodies of the deceased have been transferred to Jinnah Hospital, confirmed Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali. She said one of the bodies were recovered from Do Talwar underpass.