KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he is committed to transforming Karachi into a livable, green and resilient metropolis by focusing on growth, prosperity, sustainability, inclusiveness and service delivery in the city.
“The old area of the city will be turned into an area worth visiting where everyone would like to own a house,” he claimed.
The chief minister stated this while presiding over a meeting here at CM House on Wednesday to finalise a World Bank-assisted $82 million ‘Karachi Livable Improvement Project’ to develop old areas of the city. The project was finalised in the meeting.
The meeting was attended by additional chief secretary (development) Mohammed Waseem and his team, principal secretary Naveed Kamran, finance secretary Hassan Naqvi and others.
The chief minister said that Karachi was the hub of national economy which contributed 15 to 29 per cent to the gross domestic product.
“But its economic growth particularly on the city core has been very slow over the past two years and it is quite painful to see Karachi at 134 number in the list of Global Livability Index of 140 countries,” he said.
“Because of gaps in infrastructure and basic services, large areas within the city are undeveloped, the heritage assets are dilapidated with an unbelievable decline in green areas.”
Mr Shah said that the World Bank had provided technical assistance for conducting Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD).
“On the basis of KCD reports the World Bank is now willing to support an actionable project focusing on fast, low cost and high impact interventions which would respond to the needs of the city identified during KCD.”
Briefing the meeting, the additional chief secretary said that under the guidance of the chief minister, Pakistan Chowk to Empress Market and Korangi to Malir areas had been identified.
He said in the areas of Pakistan Chowk and Empress Market sidewalks would be improved to provide pedestrian access, including for the disabled.
The parks in the area would be rehabilitated and benches would be installed along the roads. The streets would be decorated with streetlights, open cables to be covered and heritage buildings would be rehabilitated.
Talking about the Korangi-Malir area rehabilitation, Mohammed Waseem said that roads from Quaidabad to Steel Mills junction, Nawab Siddique Ali Khan road from Lasbella to underpass, road from Singer Chowarngi to Younis Chowarngi to Hospital Chowarngi, Khokhrapar road, from Saudabad to Nadi and allied roads, different roads in Korangi, SITE Avenue to Paracha Chowk to Habib Bank Chowarngi, General Tyre road from textile mill to Globe textile mills Landhi, Bahaduryar Jung road to district Korangi and from Azeempur to Shahrah-i-Altaf, Shah Faisal Zone, would be reconstructed and upgraded.
It may be noted that the estimated cost of the project is $80 million of which the Sindh government is bearing 20 per cent while 80 per cent expenditures are being provided by the World Bank.
The chief minister also reviewed progress on Rs10 billion Karachi Package projects and asked the project director to start the work on the projects without any further delay.
The chief minister was informed that all 18 schemes were in the final stage of takeoff while work on Rs1.6 billion schemes, launched under special grant of the chief minister, to upgrade and reconstruct roads from Clifton to Saddar, including the red zone area, were in progress.
The chief minister directed the project director concerned to complete the entire work, including footpaths beautification, within a month.
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2016