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KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to develop 38-kilometre-long Malir Expressway as the shortest alternative route to connect the motorway with the city centre.

Besides upgrading the existing Safari Park and Theme Park, located in the Safari Park, to a state-of-the-art amusement park, Rani Bagh in Hyderabad would also be turned into a modern recreational facility on the basis of public-private partnership.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who gave approval of the projects while presiding over the 24th Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Board meeting here at CM House on Friday, directed the PPP unit to start the process for inviting expression of interest for the Malir Expressway project and send the park projects to the local government’s technical committee for assessment and then in the next meeting the matter would be brought in the policy board for discussion.

Safari Park to be turned into a modern amusement park under public-private partnership

Earlier addressing the meeting, the chief minister highlighted the necessity of the projects saying that Karachi had potential to accommodate and attract people from all over the country in providing jobs, business opportunities and housing facilities.

“The phenomenal population growth and increase in vehicular traffic has resulted in congestion and traffic jam issues on major roads of the city due to which road users are facing inconvenience, hazards like wastage of time and fuel, different kinds of pollution and accidents,” he said and added that the Sindh government had decided to develop the shortest alternative route to connect motorway with city centre.

It would be a four-lane dual carriageway 38km expressway along Malir River starting from Hino Chowk and ending near Kathore on the Superhighway (M-9).

The chief minister said the main objective of the project was to construct a strategic expressway, which would be required to carry the increased traffic on account of increased economic activities in the North of Karachi and hence would be an asset for the city, which would serve as the Southern alternative route for carrying traffic of the port and industrial areas to main highways.

During discussion on Karachi Theme and Safari Park project, the chief minister was told that the KMC had received an unsolicited proposal for the development of the Karachi Theme and Safari Park at the existing facility of Safari Park.

The project would be started on build-operate-transfer basis which would include the rides area with 25 rides and attractions, family entertainment centre with a food court and additional family rides, including trampoline, kids area and 3D rides, etc.

The Safari park would have a pet farm auditorium in which families can enter and spend quality time and have much needed exposure to non-dangerous animals for kids.

There would also be a splash zone, spectacular safari ride and additional 78 animals would be procured and adequately placed along with the exiting animals in an un-caged environment.

The visitors to the Safari Park would get a lifetime experience of safari, the chief minister was told.

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that the Malir Expressway would be launched under public-private partnership mode which would include design, built, operate, maintain and transfer.

Presenting Hyderabad’s Rani Bagh project in the policy board, the minister said his department had conceived the project for restructuring, upgrading and redesigning the Rani Bagh by turning it into a modern recreational facility, which would beautify the city landscape and provide its residents with cleaner environment and contemporary entertainment place.

The existing zoo was spread over an area of 5-7 acres, where various animals and bird species were present, but the zoo was not being maintained as per standard operating procedure, he said.

The minister added that the department had a plan to redesign and restructure the facility by introducing gardens, promenades, zoo, recreational areas, open theatre cinema, food outlets and play area for children on PPP mode.

The meeting was attended by Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, chief secretary Rizwan Memon, chairman of planning and development Mohammed Waseem, principal secretary to CM Sohail Rajput and members of the board.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2018