PPP-MQM agreement – Only Karachi, Hyderabad city govts allowed to construct monuments

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KARACHI – The Karachi and Hyderabad district governments have been allowed to establish community centres, and decorative gates and monuments after the PPP and the MQM reached an understanding over the issue in their recent reconciliation efforts, it has been learnt.
Reliable sources in the Sindh Local Government Department told Pakistan Today that the remaining 21 district governments, however, would have to seek prior permission before constructing any community centres or monuments in their respective districts.
The Sindh government had imposed a ban on the establishment of community centres, decorative gates and monuments by the district governments in the province particularly Karachi and Hyderabad, aimed at containing losses of funds of respective district governments and town municipal administrations (TMAs).
A letter No DS(III)/CMS/DEV/22(10)/09 was forwarded to the Planning and Development Department additional chief secretary (development), secretaries of local government and social welfare departments and district coordination officers (DCOs)/administrators, restricting them of undertaking construction.
The letter stated that the district governments and TMAs were undertaking development schemes like construction of decorative gates, community centres or monuments that bear less value in terms of public service. Therefore, the Sindh chief minister directed that no such schemes shall be undertaken in the budgets.
The local government secretary and district coordination officers/administrators were directed to ensure compliance of the above directive and requested to take necessary action.
The district governments, particularly of Karachi and Hyderabad, were constructing huge monuments and decorative gates in various areas that did not reflect any development.
Billions of rupees were earmarked in the City District Government Karachi budget for setting up community centres and monuments in different areas and almost all major roundabouts of the city, instead of development works.
However, the Local Government Department recently issued another letter and allowed only the district governments of Karachi and Hyderabad to construct monuments and other decorative monuments.
The sources said the permission is said to have been given as the ruling PPP and its coalition partner MQM had reached an understanding that the latter would be given a free hand in Karachi and Hyderabad districts.