KARACHI: “Implementation of bio-metric system will ensure timely attendance in civic entities,” said Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani on Friday. “A bio-metric attendance system should be installed in Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Lyari Development Authority (LDA) within 24 hours,” directed Saeed Ghani. He further said that a report should be submitted to him in this regard. Minister Saeed Ghani paid surprise visits to the offices of Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Lyari Development Authority (LDA) and Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB) on Friday. During his visit to the KDA office, the minister expressed displeasure over poor attendance of employees. Upon inquiring where KDA Director General (DG) Samiuddin Siddiqi was, the minister was informed that the DG was on a visit to review the progress of Green Line Bus Service. On Saeed Ghani’s insistence, Samiuddin was summoned to KDA office. Minister Saeed Ghani, along with KDA DG then visited the command and control room, record room and other offices of the civic entity. During the visit, he expressed his anger over absenteeism and directed the relevant officials to issue warning letters to absent officers of the civic entity and deduct one day’s compensation from the payroll of absent employees. “Salaries of employees who are absent or showing up late to work should be deducted,” he said, adding that a bio-metric attendance system should be implemented to keep a track of absent or late employees. “My visit is a red alarm to all ghost employees and I will continue paying surprise visits to different government offices between 9 am to 5 pm to check the attendance personally,” said the minister before adding that if officers in charge perform their duty with sincerity and discipline then their subordinates would also begin performing well. On this, KDA DG Samiuddin Siddiqui directed KDA secretary Fuzail Bukhari and KDA IT director Kamal Siddiqui to implement a bio-metric system and monitor the attendance of all employees. He directed them to submit an attendance report to him on a daily basis. “All employees should ensure 100 percent attendance otherwise strict action would be taken against them,” he warned. Chief Engineer Ram Chand, Media Coordinator Akram Sattar and other officials were also present on the occasion. Minister for Local Government also visited LDA office on Friday. During his surprise visit, he found that LDA DG along with several other LDA officials and employees were absent. The minister expressed his displeasure over it and directed the relevant officials to deduct one day’s salary of all the employees who were not present to perform their duties on Friday. Saeed Ghani also directed the relevant authorities to issue show cause notices to LDA DG and other officials for not being present in their offices during work hours. The LGD minister also asked the relevant authorities to hold an inquiry into why the LDA director general was holding nine different departments and submit a report to him. Later in the day, Saeed Ghani visited the KWSB office and held a meeting there. During the meeting, the minister warned the KWSB officials to be punctual. He was informed that various employees and officers of the civic entity were absent because they were facing trial in courts. During the minister’s visit, a group of suspended employees from KWSB staged a demonstration against their suspension. Minister Saeed Ghani summoned the protestors to his office and assured them that he would look into their grievances after which the protestors dispersed. Talking to media after his visits, Ghani said that his top priority was to ensure fair distribution of water in Karachi. “We are planning on installing a desalination plant to overcome the city’s water crisis. This way we can make sea water drinkable,” he informed the media. The minister also announced that he directed the relevant authorities to stop illegal construction and take action against officers negligent in performing their duties. Replying to a question, Ghani said that the Sindh government would fulfill all the promises it made with the public but it will take some time. He expressed his serious reservation about the status of cantonment boards. “There are various places in cantonments which are not owned by KWSB and the judiciary should look into the matter,” he said. Published in Daily Times, September 8th 2018.