The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) found itself in a rather awkward position after its senior leader and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar appointed the party’s chief nemesis Mustafa Kamal as project director (PD) for garbage “on voluntary basis with immediate effect”.
Kamal, a former MQM leader who went on to form Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) two years ago, has accepted Akhtar’s challenge to help clean the port city.
The MQM-P, PSP, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have been engaged in a heated war of words and blame game over the administration’s general failure in dealing with the disastrous aftermath of the recent spell of monsoon rains and sad state of affairs of water, sewerage and solid waste management in the city.
Kamal, who served as the city’s mayor when he was part of the MQM, had earlier held Karachi Mayor Akhtar responsible for the city’s condition. He had claimed that he would show how to clean the city if given back the same powers for only 90 days.
According to the Notification Number Mayor/KMC/134/2019 dated August 26, 2019, the appointment has been made for 90 days.
“In the light of the statement made and reported in electronic and print media that Syed Mustafa Kamal has shown his willingness to clean the city of Karachi within 90 days, I being mayor of Karachi, hereby designate Syed Mustafa Kamal as project director for garbage on voluntary basis with immediate effect and until further orders,” read the letter signed by Wasim Akhtar.
While speaking to the media, the mayor also said that all the necessary staff and services would be at the disposal of the PSP chief.
Accepting the challenge, Kamal thanked Akhtar for giving him the authority to clean Karachi’s garbage. He said that he had accepted the “order”, following which he was in-charge of the solid waste disposal in central, east, west, and Korangi districts of Karachi.
He said that he was taking over charge of his new responsibilities, therefore, the municipal commissioner should give him a briefing.
He said that the Karachi mayor was his boss, and that others were his subordinates, and that he would “keep everyone awake”, including the Karachi mayor.
Kamal had earlier suggested setting up five garbage transfer stations (GTS) in the city. “This will shorten the distance of the land-fill site from three hours to 15 minutes,” he added.
He also suggested that recycling plants and machines be installed at garbage transfer stations.
The PSP chief further urged for dissolution of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) and devolution of its powers to the union council level. “The people will take care of them if corruption is found at the union council level,” he had opined.
Meanwhile, Wasim Akhtar has summoned Mustafa Kamal to his office on Tuesday, saying that his staff would brief the “project director” regarding the situation.
Meanwhile, provincial minister and PPP leader Saeed Ghani has assured his cooperation for Musfata Kamal.