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KARACHI: Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair has said that the federal government is spending Rs75 billion on the overall development projects of the metropolis to overcome the pressing problems which have multiplied due to a rapid increase in its population.

Speaking on Tuesday, he said if proper attention had been paid, the situation in the city would have been quite different.

He said he hoped that with the implementation of the development package a pleasant change would emerge in the city, attracting more investors to it.

He said the federal government was not only paying attention to the sprawling city of Karachi but the prime minister had also announced development packages for Hyderabad, Jacobabad and Thatta in which projects were included with the consultation of the local government.

The governor said that earlier the federal government had announced for the metropolis a Rs50bn project, including Rs12bn for Lyari Expressway and Rs12bn for the K-IV water project, while Rs24bn was being spent on the Green Line project which would be completed by December this year.

Besides, during his recent visit the prime minister had announced another Rs25bn development project. He said in order to ensure transparency in the implementation of these projects a project management unit was being set up in Governor House to ensure transparency in implementing the federal government projects.

Governor Zubair recalled that Karachi is the economic jugular vein of the country which badly needed restoration and development of infrastructure, including an industrial area, because with the increasing economic activities exports would increase. He said “we have taken the representatives political party on board” for improvement of the city while the provincial government was also in constant touch.

He said: “Karachi is a big city, with pressure of population and problems.

However after restoration of law and order and peace, positive developments are the need of the hour to attract foreign investors.”

He said educated youths were available in large numbers in Karachi whose energies and skills needed to be tapped and the federal government was also taking care of it.

The governor said that during the last 12 to 15 years, except during the period of Mustafa Kamal, when some development works were carried out, the city failed to get due attention. If some attention had been paid, the situation in the city would have been different.

He said the federal government had also included provision for a modern fi re brigade, in addition to giving the city a new modern hospital and financing a medical college hospital in Karachi University.

He said that after the establishment of peace, now no one could call a strike in the city. Before giving the Karachi development package the prime minister also met various delegations to consult with them regarding development in the city, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

He said that the federal government had also announced a university and an airport for Hyderabad, for which land had already been identified. The prime minister had also announced a Metro Bus project for Hyderabad in the next phase and a Rs500 million grant had already been announced for development works in Hyderabad.

In response to a question, the governor said the largest mandate of the city was with the MQM-P which also had a majority of elected representatives of the local government in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

In response to another question, he said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was to announce the new development package for Karachi but owing to the circumstances prevailing in the country he could not visit the metropolis.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2017