KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a Rs15 billion transport project to be undertaken in Karachi soon under the Green Line bus service on the pattern of the Bus Rapid Transport System in Lahore and Rawalpindi.
Presiding over a meeting at the Governor’s House here on Thursday, the prime minister said the Green Line project would be a gift to the people of Karachi. Its entire cost would be borne by the federal government.
He said his government was fully aware of transport problems of the city, which is a jugular vein of the country’s economy.
He said the feasibility study of the project, which would be completed in 18 months, was ready. The 25.5km long Green Line will shuttle over 400,000 passengers daily between Surjani Town and the city centre.
Mr Sharif said that finances for the ‘Red Line’ bus service would be provided by the Sindh government.
He approved Rs12bn for the greater water supply project, K-4, almost 50 per cent of its total cost. The remaining expenses would be borne by the Sindh government.
He also sanctioned Rs6bn for completion of Lyari Expressway and ordered that the feasibility of the sewerage water project, S-3, be revised.
He directed Chief Secretary Saleem Hotiana to set up a coordination committee to remove any hitches in the implementation of K-4, S-3, Karachi Circular Railway, Lyari Expressway and other major projects.
The prime minister directed removal of encroachments from the tracks of the circular railway project so that work on it could be started without further delay.
He said the railway project would be completed through public-private partnership.
On a suggestion from Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan to link Karachi Port with Port Qasim, Mr Sharif directed the National Highway Authority to initiate work on the Malir Motorway project, M9, which is likely to cost Rs42bn.
Talking about the law and order situation, he expressed the hope that Karachi would regain its past status of the ‘city of lights’.
The prime minister also held a meeting with a delegation of leaders of political parties, business community and civil society.
The chief secretary and the director general of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, briefed him on the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi.
Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah were present during the meetings.
Mr Sharif said work on the Karachi-Lahore Motorway would start in a few months as the federal government had already released Rs55bn to the National Highway Authority for acquisition of land.
He announced early completion of Gadani Power Park and two power projects at Port Qasim.
He ordered police to register cases against extortionists under the Pakistan Protection Act and said special courts would be set up soon for their trial.
He stressed the need for taking people’s representatives on board on issues relating to people displaced from North Waziristan.
MQM delegation: A delegation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement comprising Dr Khalid Maqbool, Dr Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri also called on the prime minister.
The MQM leaders informed him about problems faced by the people of Karachi and called for setting up a university in Hyderabad.
They also briefed Mr Sharif about development projects for Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana and other cities of Sindh.
The delegation expressed gratitude to the prime minister for approving funds for Karachi projects.
The prime minister assured them that he would announce special development packages for other cities during his next visit to Sindh.
Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014