Ashura arrangements: Rangers given city govt rescue service

KARACHI: Karachi Administrator Fazal-ur-Rahman has said that the essential services of the city government are placed under the command of the Rangers for four days to make better and coordinated rescue and relief activities during Muharram.He has also urged the Karachi Electric Supply Company to refrain from loadshedding during Muharram as power cuts might undermine security measures.Speaking at a press briefing here on Tuesday, the administrator said that the Sindh home department had directed him that since the matters relating to the city`s law and order had been handed over to the Rangers, the emergency rescue and relief services and the manpower of the city government also be placed under the Rangers` control to establish a unity of command during the days.He said 20 water tankers, 20 fire tenders, 15 ambulances, a streetlight repair vehicle and hundreds of employees attached to these services had been handed over to the Rangers.

He said all equipment, machinery, vehicles and staff would remain at the disposal of the Rangers till Muharram 11 (Dec 18).The administrator said the entire route of the Ashura procession and other sensitive areas would also be monitored by surveillance cameras.He said that emergency command and control centres had also been established at the Civic Centre as well as the DCO camp office where he along with other senior officials would be present to monitor the situation. More than 80 surveillance cameras had been installed at sensitive points to ensure real time visuals, he added,He said that the city government was also setting up a backup facility on Kashmir Road where additional equipment and manpower would be available that could be immediately sent to any place where required.

He said heavy duty equipment, dumpers, loaders, fire brigade, snorkel, ambulances and staffers specially trained in urban search and rescue would be available at the CDGK Sports Complex — which is close to the Nishtar Park and M. A. Jinnah Road, where most mourners would be converging.Mr Rahman said he had visited all imambargahs and mosques in 16 towns and met their administrations and effective steps, as suggested by them, had been taken.He said that concrete barriers had been established at all imambargahs to ensure security.He, however, expressed concern over the lethargic attitude of the KESC and said that despite its promises, the power utility continued loadshedding, ignoring the fact that it was creating not only problems for the people involved in Majalis but also a serious security concern.He asked the KESC to act in a responsible manner and immediately stop loadshedding, particularly during Muharram – Dawn