The govt has announced building flats for the residents of these settlements
KARACHI: A monitoring committee will be formed to survey the katchi abadis (slum settlements) across Sindh.
This was decided in the 21st session of the governing body for Sindh’s katchi abadis presided over by the provincial minister for katchi abadis, Tariq Masood Arain.
After the session, Arain addressed a press conference where he revealed that over 50 per cent of Karachi was based on such settlements, whereas, Hyderabad, the second biggest city of Sindh, had the most katchi abadis.
The minister said his department will set up monitoring committees, headed by divisional commissioners and with representation of every political party. The job of the monitoring committee, according to him, would be to scrutinise these slum areas and point out terrorists and criminal elements residing there.
According to Arain, the real owners of the city resided in these settlements and his department would provide them all basic facilities, including drinking water, a road network, proper drainage systems and schools. He added that such settlements were more prone to diseases like hepatitis. “The provincial government is taking measures to eradicate such diseases,” he said.
To facilitate the residents of these settlements, Arain said that they were planning to build flats for the residents. He explained that his department had sought the help of the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan’s (ABAD) help in this regard. “We will give ownership of these flats to the residents of these settlements on very lenient conditions,” he promised, adding that wherever there would be authorised slums, they would provide them ownership rights.
He said that katchi abadis throughout Sindh, established after 1997, were also being scrutinised and they were looking into giving them official status.
During the session, around 50 ghost employees of the katchi abadis department were suspended and it was announced that the salaries of daily-wagers of the department had been raised from Rs6,000 to Rs13,000. The budget for the fiscal year, 2015-2016, for katchi abadis was also approved during the session.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2015.