Karachi, December 28, 2014 (PPI-OT): Minister for Information and Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon has said that 28 fire tenders had participated to extinguish fire erupted in Timber Market. “I have constituted a committee to assess the losses caused by the fire so that compensation can be paid.”
This he said while addressing an emergent press conference at Commissioner Office here on Sunday. He was flanked by PPP Karachi Division President Qadir Patel, Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqi, MD KWSB Mr Hashim Raza Zaidi, Administrator KMC Raoof Akhtar Farooqi and others.
He said that the MQM leaders’ in their press conference on Timber Market has attempted to play politics on an untoward incident with the objective to over shadow PPP public meeting held at at Garhi Khuda Bux to commemorate the death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
Sharjeel giving account of fire eruption at Timber Market said that initially two shops caught fire. “Since it was a timber market, therefore fire spread faster and it was established that it was a third category fire,” he said and added that some 28 fire tenders rushed there and participated to control fire. KWSB provided 530,000 to 600,000 gallon of water to extinguish fire.
He said commissioner Karachi reached the spot and personally monitored the operation. “Our provincial Minister Jawed Nagori reached on the spot at 5am but the MNA of the Area, Mr Farooq Sattar did reach there. Now MQM is trying to gain political points on the issue,” he lamented and added that MQM always try to over shadow our big programmes whenever they are held.
Giving reference of PPP mammoth rally held at Mazar-i-Quaid on October 18, 2014 he said MQM announced to quit coalition just to over shadow the rally and again on December 27 PPP held a big public meeting at Garhi Khuda Bux and MQM through a press conference attempted to over shadow PPP rally.
Mr Sharjeel Memon denied the MQM allegation that he did not receive the call of MQM leaders Faisal Sabzwari and said he didn’t call him. “My phone was on and I was in touch with Commissioner Karachi, MD KWSB and Administrator KMC and was also in touch with newsmen”.
Brushing aside the MQM allegation that local government institutions have failed to deliver, he said “if local government institutions did not perform then who extinguished the fire,” he questioned and added that local bodies despite their problems performed well.
He said that the streets of the market are two narrow where fire tenders could not reach there in time. However, the situation was controlled when long pipes and connecting sockets were arranged. Mr Memon thanked to Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah for approving a summary to procure small size fire tenders of Rs350 million. “We were purchasing fire tenders but the court has stayed the move,” he said.
Talking about ghost employees in local bodies, he said Khalid Sultan and Adil Khan who were member of MQM Rabita Committee till December 10 were drawing salaries from KWSB, but never attend duty. “I am thankful to Altaf Bhai that he urged the employees to return to their duties but still they are absent,” he said and added that the ghost employees of KMC and KWSB employees were living in South Africa, London and Dubai.
“I don’t want to remove all the ghost employees belonging to a political party but our friends would get angry,” Sharjeel Memon said and appealed to Altaf HUssain to direct the ghost employees to turn up on their duties. Local Government Minister Sharjeel Memon said that he had brought the issue of ghost employees in the knowledge of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad.
He said that Karachi was not the city of orphans. “It is our city and we own it. PPP government is launching mega projects such as elevated express way and dual carriage way to connect National Highway with Super Highway.
Reacting to MQM demand for his resignation, Mr Sharjeel Memon question MQM leaders “had Wasim Akhtar resigned after May 12 incident. Had the concerned minister tender resignation after 12 Rabiul Awal incident in which a large number of religious leaders were killed,” the answer is in negative and then asked why MQM setting aside the services of PPP government was talking about resignations.
Sharjeel Memon also said that the people arrested in target killing belong to a political party and most of them were employees of local bodies. Mr Qadir Patel talking on the occasion said it was quite surprising that some important people reached Timber Market a little before the fire erupted. “This raises questions and we would investigate it,” he announced.
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