Massive drive soon to cleanse Karachi environment

KARACHI: A massive campaign will be launched next week to end pollution and ensure cleanliness in Karachi. NGOs, district local government institutions, corporate sector and community groups will take full part in it.

This was stated by Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui during a meeting with a delegation of National Forum for Environment and Health NFEH who called on him at his office here on Sunday evening. The delegation was headed by NFEH President Mohammad Naeem Qureshi who apprised the commissioner of worst cleanliness situation, burning smoke pollution, sale of poisonous gutka & other narcotics goods, wall chalking, traffic jams, illegal encroachments and tree plantation issues. The delegation members included Saman Khalil, Engr Nadeem Ashraf, Haji Ghulam Mohammad of NBP, Ibne Hasan, Nadeem Shaikh advocate, Ghulam Kibria, Ateequr Rehman, Saleem Michel advocate, Mehmood Tareen, Musaddiq Aziz, Iqbal Rizvi and others. Director Commissioner Office Rubina Asif was also present on the occasion.

NFEH President Naeem Qureshi informed the meeting of environment and other issues being faced by the metropolis and said that the performance of local bodies and other relevant authorities had turned dismal while Sindh government had also adopted lull over these issues.

He said that it was the need of the hour that government organizations and NGOs join hands and come forward with concrete measures and expedite efforts to resolve environment and other city issues.

The commissioner told the delegation that the city was facing lot of issues, however, we will have to act now to resolve those. “We will have to raise awareness and take swift actions against those spreading pollution in the city. Action will be possible against those responsible for pollution if powers of municipal magistrate are given to assistant commissioners,” Siddiqui said.

He said that 10 magistrates are being given to them with the cooperation of judiciary and legal action could be taken against those involved in causing city issues after meeting with them and setting strategy. “These magistrates will start work next week. High officials of KMC are being directed to take actions against those burning waste, and present their challans. The government and private hospital should also dispose of their effluent properly,” the commissioner said.

Siddiqui said that a meeting of private hospitals would be called next week after which hospitals would be checked. About traffic jams, the commissioner said that there were several complaints about traffic jams in various areas of the city and encroachments were one of the causes behind them.

About sale of gutka and other narcotics goods, the commissioner said that no ban could be imposed on them due to lack of powers with district officials and due to supervision of police. However, full action will be taken against those elements selling gutka and other narcotics substances after the provision of 10 district magistrates, he observed.

About NFEH suggestions on walk chalking, he said that wall chalking would be get cleansed by those shopkeepers, faith healers and others who had made it on the walls of citizens, adding those walls would be cleansed on their expenses.

He said that the survey of those involved in wall chalking would also be conducted next week. The religious and social parties would be contacted in this regard and asked to stop polluting environment in the city.

The commissioner also formed a CSR committee which will monitor the drive.