KARACHI: The promised Green Line Rapid Transit System was the focal subject during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday.
Water projects and loss of lives due to the unprecedented heatwave came under discussion. However, the participants did not discuss the law and order situation of Karachi.
Secretary Saleh Farooqi briefed participants about the contours of the mega transport project for Karachi, saying that the service is being given from the federal government to the province. Farooqi said that the Green Line, having a capacity of 300,000 passenger trips per day will operate along a 17.8km route, with 21 stations.
“We have given you Rs8 billion for the Green Line project,” Nawaz was quoted as saying to the chief minister. To this, Shah responded by thanking him and saying that the project will cost Rs16 billion.
|PM Nawaz while chairing a high-level meeting at the CM House in Karachi. —PID|
PM orders for completion of K4 project within two years
Water project K4 also came under discussion, with the prime minister issuing orders to complete the project within two years.
He said the federal government can give Rs10 billion for this project adding that consultancy for K4 should be completed in six months. The K4, a Rs270million project, is designed to double the capacity of Karachi’s water supply system
PM Nawaz was also briefed on the Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme by chief secretary Sindh under which 260 million gallons of water per day would be brought from Kinjhar lake to Karachi, to meet present and future needs of Karachi. The project will be completed in three phases.
The premier directed that a monitoring committee comprising federal and provincial government officials be set up to ensure efficiency and transparency in its execution in a speedy manner. Federal government would share the project cost with the provincial government, he said.
Sindh, fed govt to share Karachi projects' costs
Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah while speaking at a press conference following PM Nawaz's visit said that the federal government will put in as much funds in the Karachi projects as the Sindh government.
"Its a five year project, but we will try to complete the first phase of the K4 project within three years," The CM said while talking about the water project.
The CM further said that PM Nawaz is interested in completing the Green Line project soon to solve the transport issues of the people of Karachi in a speedy manner. He also said that the meeting was positive and the premier extended full support for the Sindh government.
Nawaz orders to punish those who neglected responsibility
PM Nawaz expressed deep grief and sorrow over the heatwave incident. "The whole country sympathises with the affected people in this hour of grief," he said.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah thanked PM Nawaz for taking personal interest in matters of the province, particularly Karachi.
He briefed the premier on the crisis that hit the city on June 19 which caused hundreds of casualties and the relief measures taken by Sindh government in its aftermath.
PM Nawaz was also apprised that more than 65,000 patients were reportedly admitted in hospitals during this period, out of which around 1,250 lost their lives.
PM Nawaz said that this was an unprecedented incident in the history of Pakistan and all departments that neglected their responsibilities and added to public misery should be held accountable in a transparent manner.
The premier added that lessons should be learnt from such calamities and measures be taken to avoid their recurrence in future. He appreciated the role played by private welfare associations in providing relief to the people.
Those attending the meeting include Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch along with members of the Sindh Cabinet.
|PM Nawaz in a meeting with CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and others. —PID|
Earlier, PM Nawaz arrived in Karachi for a day-long visit. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah was present at the Karachi airport to receive the premier and interior minister.
The premier arrived at Chief Minister House to discuss the electricity crisis, deaths caused by the heatwave, steps the government can take to improve the situation and the over all law and order situation.
PM Nawaz was also expected to visit various hospitals where heatstroke patients are receiving treatment.
Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed also accompanied the premier.
Since the onslaught of the deadly heatwave which has claimed over 1,200 lives in Karachi, there have been calls from all over the country for Nawaz Sharif to visit the metropolis as the federal government has been blamed for loadshedding that has been held responsible for contributing to deaths in the city.
Also read: PM-COAS meeting focuses on Karachi
Before leaving for Karachi on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Army Chief General Raheel Sharif at the PM office on Tuesday.
An official of the prime minister’s office had told Dawn that a meeting between the prime minister and the army chief always carried importance, but following the BBC report which accused the MQM of working hand in glove with Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for creating unrest in Karachi, it had gained an added significance.