Riaz Khattak

Karak Bazaar has turned into garbage dump after the tehsil municipal administration (TMA) stopped municipal services due to non-payment of government grants for past three months.

Karaki district is the one of the richest district of the province on account of its vast oil and gas production; however, its main bazaar is littered with heaps of garbage, emitting foul and noxious smells.

Anjuman Tajiran Karak president Gul Razi Khattak told TNN that the municipality staffers have stopped offering sanitation services in the bazaar as they were not being paid salaries for past three months due to non-payment of TMA grant by the provincial government.

“Now we have to clean the bazaar,” he said. He said that they took up this issue with the Deputy Commissioner Karak who also said that TMA staff was not working due to the non-payment of their salaries.

Aalia Bibi, a local woman told TNN that it was strange district administration was unable to clean the city’s small bazaar. “If TMA staffs are not working then DC can assign this task to some other department,” she said.

She said that if authorities did not take any corrective action, then, city’s women will be forced to take up the cleanliness drive.

Abid Khan, another citizen said that the heaps of garbage in the bazaar even make it difficult for them to walk easily.

Dr Basheer Khattak, a local doctor said that the heaps of garbage could spread illnesses among the visitors. He said that those visiting bazaar should wear masks and gloves to protect themselves.

Azam Khan, former president of TMA Karak Employees Union said that they were unable to offer their services in the absence of salaries. “Due to non-payment of salaries, we are facing difficult situation at our homes for past three months,” he said.

He said that they were borrowing their daily use items. “Due to the long delay in payment of salary we have stopped sanitation services and padlocked the TMA offices,” he said.

DC Karak Khalid Iqbal Khattak said that he has informed the provincial government about the municipality grant issue and sanitation situation of the city.

DC Khattak said that this issue will be resolved over next few days and sanitation workers will also return to their work.

However, he admitted that the currently the situation was not good and he was trying to resolve the TMA staff salary issue.

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