Poor performance compounded civic problems in Karachi

KARACHI: Caretaker Sindh Minister for Jameel Yusuf has said that civic and environmental issues in Karachi have become compounded owing to poor performance by the relevant agencies of provincial and local governments over last several years, says a Press release.

These civic and government agencies failed to implement the relevant municipal and environmental laws that led to the alarming increase in air pollution, unchecked vehicular emissions, and physical encroachments all over the city.

The Caretaker Sindh Information and Environment minister stated this on Tuesday while meeting a delegation of National Forum for Environment & Health (NFEH) in his office.

The caretaker provincial minister said that the concerned government authorities and non-governmental organizations should join forces to improve working of the agencies responsible to implement vital civic and environmental laws in the city.

He said that tree plantation should be done all over the city under a full-fledged campaign to promote tree cover in Karachi. He said that government, its relevant agencies, and concerned people should get their act together to remove physical encroachments existing in the city on a massive scale.

He said that caretaker Sindh government would soon convene a meeting of the concerned NGOs, civil society organizations, representative bodies of industries, and relevant government and municipal agencies to adopt a collective strategy to tackle all these alarming civic and environmental issues persisting in Karachi.

He said that conducting a full-fledged plantation drive in Karachi was need of the hour. In this regard, the corporate sector and associations representing industrial estates in the city should take initiative to improve tree cover in their respective areas.

Mr. Yusuf on the occasion appreciated the plantation drive conducted by NFEH over past some years saying that the caretaker provincial government would lend support to further expand this drive in Karachi.

He also expressed his serious concern over unchecked construction of high-rise buildings and other commercial projects in the city in total disregarding of the relevant environmental laws that otherwise should be strictly implemented.

He said that caretaker provincial government would try its best to regulate such unchecked construction activities in the city so that the high-rise commercial ventures should be built in accordance with the environmental and civic laws. He said that efforts would also be done to make it binding upon the builders of such commercial buildings to reserve a portion of their projects for the sake of promoting greenery in the city.

He said that Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) should also ensure strict implementation of the laws to reverse the alarming phenomenon of environmental deterioration.

He was of the viewpoint that the SEPA could play an active role in resolution of serious environmental issues persisting in the province.

Also on the occasion, NFEH President Naeem Qureshi greeted Yusuf on assuming the responsibilities as one of the key members of caretaker government set-up in the province.
Qureshi also invited the provincial minister to attend the upcoming 15h Annual Environment Excellence Awards and Conference-2018 as its chief guest. The event will be held in a hotel of the city on 17th July, 2018.

He briefed the provincial minister that the NFEH would launch its annual plantation drive in Karachi on 05 July, 2018 as efforts would be made to plant around 50,000 tree saplings all over the city with support of other like-minded NGOs and representative bodies of businessmen and industrialists.

Other members of the NFEH delegation who met the provincial minister included Engineer Nadeem Ashraf, Mustafa Tahir, Saquib Ejaz Hussain, and Jhon Richard.
Agencies add: Meanwhile, Sindh caretaker Minister for Information Jameel Yusuf has Tuesday discussed various ways and means to bring reforms in the Information department.

He also expressed his grave concern over the attitude of officers towards laid down responsibilities.

The meeting was attended by newly posted Secretary Information department Qazi Shahid Pervaiz and all Directors of Information department.

The minister stressed upon the officers to discharge duties dedicatedly and with the spirit to uplift the image of department. The minister reviewed the functioning of each and every directorate of the Information department. He asked Director Information advertisements to rationalize the disbursement of advertisements. “The advertisements must be given on merit keeping in view the regularity and circulation of the newspapers “, he elaborated.

He further directed to revisit process of Pre-qualification of advertising agencies held recently and submit report along with recommendations. He was of the view to place entire details of advertisements related matters including distribution of advertisements and payments thereof on website of information department to ensure transparency and good governance.

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