Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar on Wednesday feared that the poor and jobless people would take to streets if the lockdown continued for long.
He said that prolonged closure of business activities might have huge impacts on the society if a prudent economic policy is not adopted to help the poor and jobless people during lockdown.
Addressing a "Tohfa-e-Ramazan" event in Federal B area, Akhtar said that
"Khidmat-e-Khalq" (serving the people) is in the blood of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation volunteers and they would continue serving the people without any discrimination. He said that Covid-19 affected the entire world and those who are helping the needy people are commendable.
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Works Committee Chairman Hassan Naqvi, Parks Committee Chairman Khurram Farhan and a large number of volunteers of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation were also present on this occasion.
"Just lockdown is not a solution to the problem as the people should also be given ration and essential commodities. The people might remain safe from coronavirus by staying at homes but could die for want of food," he added. Akhtar was of the view that the Sindh government's efforts are limited to verbal statements as it doesn't have even data of the needy people, adding that elected local government representatives of the city had not been taken on board on measures to combat the coronavirus. "We have data at UC level and UC Chairmen are well aware of local issues and could play vital role in the current circumstances but unfortunately they are not being utilized," said Akhtar.
He said that they have been providing not only ration but also Iftar from Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation's platform. The KKF volunteers are ensuring provision of Iftar to the needy people at their doorsteps in New Karachi, Lines Area, Mehmoodabad, Federal B Area and other localities. He also expressed gratitude to philanthropists for supporting this great cause. On the occasion, Akhtar himself made Iftar items and handed over Iftar boxes to volunteers.
He said that death of Dr Furqan in an ambulance had exposed tall claims of the provincial government. To a query of media person, the mayor said that emergency has been declared in hospitals under administrative control of the KMC in the wake of heatwave alert and presence of doctors is being ensured for 24 hours to cope with any situation. He also requested the citizens to remain at their homes and avoid unnecessary going out during the heatwave.
Speaking on KMC employees' salary issue, Akhtar said that Sindh government had announced 15 per cent increment in salaries of the government employees but 13,000 servants of the KMC are deprived of the same. "There is a shortfall of Rs8 to 10 billion every month and I have approached Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah but all in vain," he said.
The mayor was of the view that the Sindh government had 'paralysed' the KMC by keeping its all revenue generating departments.
"The KMC employees are deprived of increment even on the eve of Ramazan and Eid-ul-Fitr," he concluded.