Court orders HMC officials to remove garbage piles, encroachment

HYDERABAD: On a policeman’s plea against the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC), a subordinate court ordered on Monday the authorities to remove garbage piles and encroachments and submit a report after three days. The court also summoned the municipal commissioner, taluka municipal officer and anti-encroachment assistant director on January 11.

During the hearing, Advocate Irfan Qureshi appeared on behalf of the HMC. He briefly informed the court about the weak financial health of the corporation.

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The policeman, Market police station SHO Munir Abbassi, taking the plunge of environmental policing filed a plea in court on January 4 under Section 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The provision allows the police to register a complaint with a judicial officer seeking removal of any nuisance such as encroachment, solid waste, building construction material, falling trees and animals. A judicial officer is authorised to order its removal.

The SHO pointed out dozens of localities and roads where garbage heaps and encroachment by local businesses and transporters created health and traffic nuisance in his jurisdiction. The HMC consists of 96 union committees of the City and Latifabad talukas of Hyderabad, headed by Mayor Syed Tayyab Hussain, who belongs to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – Pakistan.

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Talking to the media in Hyderabad on Sunday, Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro claimed that his department released Rs30 million to HMC every month. “Complaints about water supply, drainage and piles of rubbish have become common in Karachi and Hyderabad,” he said.

He argued that the MQM-Pakistan-led Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and HMC have not been able to perform despite the availability of funds. Shoro said when the HMC raised the issue of shortage of funds, the local government department not only started paying salaries to the staff but Rs30 million per month also began to be released.

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“We gave an Rs800 million subsidy to the Water and Sanitation Agency but their problems remain unresolved.” He credited the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government for planning to establish new water filtration plants for Latifabad and Hussainabad towns in Hyderabad.

“[Former president and army chief] Pervez Musharraf’s local government system didn’t even give a good plan [for water supply, drainage and waste disposal] for Hyderabad,” he commented.

A section in the CrPc empowers the police to do so

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